Billed as the Theatre Of The Escapists tour, autumn 2012 saw the Venice Beach alt-rock pioneers return to more intimate venues in support of The Great Escape Artist.
Confidence in that record must have been low, with only one track (Irresistible Force) deemed fit for inclusion, one of only two post-dating 1990’s Ritual De Lo Habitual. Sadly, it’s a rather hollow affair – a mere simulacrum of the dark, druggy authority the band once commanded.
Perry Farrell’s inter-song banter plays semi-scripted, Dave Navarro’s solo runs are in danger of leaving the songs behind altogether at times, all hampered by a jarring, roughly mixed production punctuated with over-loud and oddly timed effects. Not all hope is gone – the inherent brilliance of Up The Beach and Mountain Song is immune to any water treading – and there’s a nagging feeling old glories could be recaptured with a mild application of will.