Much has been said about The Price Brothers Band in the last few months, but in the new presentation of their live setlist, Live at the Yellow Cab Tavern, vocal harmonies take such a starring role that it’s difficult to lead off a review of the tracklist without noting their importance. Where past arrangements of “Diamonds in the Sky” and “Before I Go” felt a little more instrument-centric, the opposite is true here, as our singer weaves together melodic ribbonry with as much of a commanding presence as Pete Price does behind the rhythm guitar parts.
The flow in this record is stylish, and I love how well songs tend to run into each other without sounding cramped in the arrangement of the tracks. The trio of “Before I Go,” “The Crossing,” and “Let It Go” gave me chills right out of the gate, and although there’s a lot of tension in each of these songs, it comes apart under the cathartic pressure of the band’s play flawlessly, every time. I don’t know how those unfamiliar with this scene are going to appreciate the depth in this piece, but anyone who has been listening to its music in the past four years is going to be as impressed as I was with the marvelous reshaping of the energy that once made indie rock so popular.
“Foolish Heart,” “I Love Soul and I Love Rock,” “The Letter,” and “Common Ground” see harmonies catalyzing a rich climactic focus from this group of musicians that is almost as powerful as something we would witness in concert, and I think it’s more than a little obvious that this is exactly what our lead singer was going for with this release. He wants to bring us all of the precision of the stage show without any of the bombastic elements that often invade a live record’s margins, and his efforts produce one heck of a thrill ride here.
The structures of “Old Movies and You,” “Legacy of Love,” as well as “The Crossing,” feel a little different than I would have initially expected them to, but this is perhaps the greatest appeal of a live album, even if it’s one that was recorded under the rawest of circumstances. We’re still getting that wild, fearless presentation of an emotional narrative in the music as opposed to a recreation of material we’ve already listened to one hundred times over, which is everything I want in this kind of offering.
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You can’t miss Live at the Yellow Cab Tavern if you’re a fan of anything that has to do with quality rock/rock and straightforward songcraft in 2023. The Price Brothers Band has become one of my favorite indie follows over the last month, and if you give any one of the twelve songs in this tracklist a listen, I think you’re going to understand why. It’s a critical masterpiece by my account, and certainly an extension of the brooding passion that I have now come to find in everything this unit has put together thus far.