REEF – In Motion

REEF – In Motion

  • Rating: 4 / 6

A warm and vibrant live recording by the skilled British rock ensemble Reef that encapsulates the band’s raw edge on stage is essentially what "In Motion" is all about. Captured and shot at the storied Hammersmith Apollo in London back in May 2018, this 17-track offering shows a band at the height of its powers and the entire performance oozes confidence.

The disc is basically akin to a really strong and powerful soundboard recording, which is to say that it never comes across as touched up or tampered with unlike so many other live releases that are riddled with overdubs. Reef are in your face and the exchange of energy between the band and the crowd is inspiring. Highlights include the Zeppelin-esque "I Would Have Left You" and the loud and gritty jewels that are "Precious Metal" and "Summers in Bloom", but there is a red thread running through it all in terms of quality and cohesion.

To be perfectly frank, watching the blu ray disc is an underwhelming affair in the sense that there is nothing visually exciting or appealing going on as such. There is nothing remotely interesting about the way in which the gig was filmed and none of its technical aspects will dazzle you. Unless you are an ardent fan of the band or if you were present the night that that this was recorded, the CD is basically all you need, which is to say that "In Motion" is way cooler to listen to as opposed to watching, if that makes sense. The blu ray disc is basically superfluous.

Reef’s brand of bluesy (vintage) rock has plenty of groove and dynamics to it, and their tunes are simply begging to be played live, which is probably why I find "In Motion" a more exciting and rewarding output compared to the studio albums. The vocals are a tad hit-or-miss for me, but in general, this is an entertaining and atmospheric live document with a certain British charm to it. A worthwhile release for sure and a must-have if you dig Reef, but not necessarily one for the music history books.