Review ·

How nice it must be to know that your band is remembered fondly by enough people to merit a couple of live reunion gigs. This is the situation that Shudder To Think’s Craig Wedren found himself in a decade after his band broke up. The reunited Shudder To Think -- Wedren on guitar and vocals backed by longtime members Stuart Hill and Kevin March and supplemented by noted indie session men Jesse Krakow and Mark Watrous -- played a small tour in the fall of 2008. The document of those shows is Live From Home, which features a wide selection of tracks from the band’s beginnings at Dischord to their final Epic recordings.


While there is nothing revelatory on Live From Home, it definitely comes at the right time in Wedren’s career. Often, the live album is tacked on as an afterthought to meet a contract or to capitalize on sudden success and chronicles offers nothing but a souvenir from a show that occurred six months ago. But because Wedren had been away from this material for a full decade when this album was recorded, Live From Home offers an interesting perspective on how a musician relates to his catalog.


Though the audio quality is good throughout and the touring version of the band is obviously captured after having worked out most of the kinks, it's clear that Wedren spent some time rethinking these songs in the intervening years. He resists making wholesale changes; reunion tours are for the fans if not for the money, but the 2008 version of Shudder To Think approaches its work with maturity understandably absent when the band parted ways. Wedren is game, and the hooks are there, but it’s been proven many times that a person can never truly go home again. It’s how far away Live From Home ends up that provides its greatest interest.


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