V-Roys Are You Through Yet?

It's a little paradoxical that a band whose reputation rested almost entirely on the strength of its live show would leave an album, albeit a live album, as its posterity, but here to commemorate the demise of the V-Roys is Are You Through Yet?, a document of a show from the summer of 1999. While their studio output was never particularly distinguished, the V-Roys did become legendary as a hard-working live band that never made it look or sound like work. Tough, rollicking and raucous, this album captures the energy and fun of their shows, from chugging rootsy rockers such as the ornery "Mary," that they played by the gallon to well-chosen covers, like the Replacements' oft-overlooked "IOU," since we're speaking of ornery. Energy and fun in buckets, then, but not so much of intensity, which also provides a clue as to why a band with such an infectious repertoire and sterling reputation could never outgrow its cult following, even while many others of their rootsy ilk have prospered. Are You Through Yet? sounds like a night out with a really good bar band, but still just a bar band, and not one that you can grow up with. More than anything else, the album makes a pretty good case for catching them live, but it's a little late for that. (E-Squared)