Sound — 9
Throw away whatever you think of when you think "live." As evidenced by this 2-CD set, Slightly Stoopid is an amazing live band. I would go so far as to say that they're better live than they are in studio. "Winter Tour" is a collection of Stoopid songs from the beginning through "Closer To The Sun." Miles and Kyle are incredibly talented at the guitar and bass, and what's amazing is that they both play both instruments at their shows. Different instruments stand out throughout the album - whether it be the prominent bass grooves, the complex and sometimes effect-heavy guitar, the percussion (the Intro is amazing), and even beat-boxing (Couldn't Get High/Untitled). The only letdowns are punk songs like "Johnny Law" and "Anti Socialistic." I know a lot of people like their punk songs, but I don't. It kind of kills the chill vibe. But it's not enough to really detract from the experience.
Lyrics — 8
Some say that Slightly Stoopid doesn't have the deepest lyrics, and they're probably right. But the lyrics fit so well with the music. Songs like "Couldn't Get High," "Officer," and "Till It Gets Wet" are tremendously fun and fit in well with the relaxed, party-and-get-high vibe. The delivery of these lyrics is also top-notch. Both Miles and Kyle have great voices for reggae music. Miles's voice is, at times, not quite as good as on the studio albums, but it's still really good. Kyle's voice can take a little getting used to, but he sounds great live.
Overall Impression — 10
Most bands' live albums are filler, a supplement to the studio-recorded catalog. Yet Slightly Stoopid's live work (this CD and "Acoustic Roots") stand by themselves as solid and essential parts of the collection. At many points on "Winter Tour," I find myself thinking how much better the live version of a song is than the original. On songs like "Bandelero" and "Officer," the difference is small but the energy of the performance can be heard. Elsewhere, songs are improved or even totally changed. On "This Joint," a horn section plays over the main bass part throughout the song. This makes the song infinitely more enjoyable, and (like many Slightly Stoopid songs) it's a great one to listen to while sitting back with a blunt. Meanwhile, on "Mellow Mood," the band makes up for the lack of G. Love's vocals by completely reworking the song. Perhaps the best song is "Couldn't Get High/Untitled," which features the band's percussionist OG beatboxing throughout the song. This album is more than worth the price. Slightly Stoopid, while surprisingly unknown, is one of the best and most talented bands making music today, and it shows on this live effort.