Opening with the melancholic viola from Prelude, Attrition quickly shifts gears into the live version of Acid Tongue. The song's viola intro segues well and alludes to Attrition's well thought out live performances.
This is the first chance many fans have to hear Attrition's new vocalist. Julia Waller has meandered off, to be replaced with Christine Reid. It's a change. It's not the same band. Julia's disaffected, angelic voice has been replaced with a sultry street smart wail and whisper.
The live version of Acid Tongue seems more straight ahead, more electro. I was thinking the majority of the live versions would lend themselves to the same treatment, but Atomizer actually sounds remarkably similar to the album version.
The Second Hand actually sounds much different. Slower, perhaps, and we finally get to hear Christine really color a song. Her wails lend the song more despair, while on I Am she sounds more stately.
In a coupe places, the updated performances add intriguing new touches to Attrition's music. Cosmetic Citizen gets an extra little turnaround on the main sequence that gives it more bounce. Their classic, Lip Sync, sounds like it could have come off of their last album, The Jeopardy Maze. The Mercy Machine invokes the same effect. Maybe he's using a new keyboard?
Attrition encore with their all-time favorite track, A Girl Called Harmony. Whether or not we like it, Julia's vocal interpretation marks the song indelibly. It's just not the same with Christine's voice; not a reflection on her. It's just not the same.
Overall, not a necessary piece of your collection, but a valuable record of Attrition's live sound. If you enjoy Attrition and you enjoy live material, then Heretic Angels isn't a bad buy.