Life Of Agony - Ugly/Soul Searching Sun

Brooklyn’s Life Of Agony seem to have made quite a habit of reviving their old career recently, there were the reunion shows in 2003, a reissue of their first album ‘River Runs Red’ in 2005 and now a re-mastered version of two of their previous albums. Their 1995 release ‘Ugly’ and 1998 release ‘Soul Searching Sun. Ok so they did release some new material in 2005 as well, this was ‘Broken Valley’.

Anyway the point is that after having re-united 5 years ago, the band appears to have re hashed a great deal of their previous work. Whether this is to get a bit more cash together or simply to remind everyone how good they thought they were, I don’t know. But the latest in the line of re-works are the aforementioned ‘Ugly’ and ‘Soul Searching Sun’, a ‘two for one’ offer for £9.99 which is actually pretty good I must say. The two disc set includes the hard to find albums along with their original artwork, packaged in a box.
So this is great if you missed these albums first time around, if you’ve only just become a fan and can’t find them anywhere, (with the exception of the internet of course!) It’s also a great collector’s item, for those that have far too much room in their houses and far more money than sense, especially if they already own them.

For those that are interested however, these albums marked a turning point in the Life Of Agony Career. Many of their previous hardcore fans turned their backs at this stage as the band had become an Alice In Chains-esque melodic grunge/stoner outfit. It’s pretty good stuff really, Keith Caputo’s voice takes on a whole new form, the lyrics are dark and it takes their song-writing ability to a whole new level. Both albums are definite thinker types, I enjoyed listening to them and I certainly will again.

Regardless of what I think musically however, if I’m entirely honest I see little point in re-mastering albums that a) many people will own already and b) sound no different to the ones that came out the first time. Ok so it’s packaged nicely, with the original artwork, (although I’m sure the originals had the original artwork too?), I’m just struggling to see why anyone who already owns these records would part with cash again. On that note I didn’t really think there was a great revival in the Life Of Agony fanbase either. 90’s grunge is kind of struggling at the moment.

Roadrunner I am confused. There are no extra tracks, no DVD, nothing, just two albums that many Life Of Agony fans will already own and those that don’t probably downloaded these songs ages ago anyway.
Anyway I’ll leave it there, make up your own mind, the albums are pretty decent, but then you’d know that already wouldn’t you, because you’ve probably already got them.