This album is a collection of live recordings and some radio recordings from the final era of the first incarnation of the band. After that, the band split up but they arose several years later, giving us three new albums, 'What It Seems Is What You Get', 'Merchants Of Air' (yep, you guessed it) and the awesome (and actually my favourite at this time) 'Stern'. So the songs on 'Live 89-99' will not be played live anymore (at least not very often) because the band obviously wants to focus on the new material.
This album contains songs from the earlier albums, 'MutePoetVocaliser', 'Phlegm', 'Push Comes To Shove' and 'EarMined' and actually gives a very good overview of the early history of Kong. These really are the best songs from those albums (except for the fact that my all time favourite 'New' isn't present).
The sound usually is very good and, if played loud enough, delivers a perfect impression of what this band is capable of, even through all the line-up changes. Here and there the trained ear will catch a little error but that's quite inevitable with this complex and unique music. Some of the songs differ a bit from the album versions, mainly because of the live sound, which make it a nice change.
The album is available as a pay-what-you-want digital download and I suggest checking it out if you want something different or are just into decent progressive rock music. Kong delivered bigtime in that decade and they have been a force to reckon with again since the return. Yet, somehow it's hard for them to find gigs these days which really is a shame. I hope this album will convince some bookers to get them back on track again.