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Review of "Stand By Your Van"

GRADE: 3 Stars

Unlike Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain, Sublime didn't become popular until after frontman Brad Nowell died in May 1996, just before the release of the ska-rock group's major-label debut. So the posthumous releases -- this is Sublime's second -- are a matter of establishing a legacy, rather than enhancing an existing one.

The lo-fi Stand By Your Van tells Sublime's story as a live act, mixing Nowell's smart, tight songcraft (Don't Push, Right Back, Date Rape) with occasionally erratic performances (Let's Go Get Stoned, Ebin). Interesting but not essential -- and, of course, without anything from the hot-selling Sublime album -- Van tells folks who didn't get to see Sublime that they might have had a good time but also didn't miss a life-altering experience.

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