Veteran modern rock act Live is putting the finishing touches on its sixth album and plotting a May or June release through MCA. "It's back to basics for Live," says frontman Ed Kowalczyk of the follo

Veteran modern rock act Live is putting the finishing touches on its sixth album and plotting a May or June release through MCA. "It's back to basics for Live," says frontman Ed Kowalczyk of the follow-up to 2001's "V," which is being produced by Jim Wirt (Incubus, Alien Ant Farm). "There's no keyboards. It's really back to rock and roll, man."

"It's back to big guitars and I really think that this is the finest crafted record we've ever done," continues Kowalczyk, speaking of the yet-to-be-titled set in a video post to Live's official Web site from Wirt's Santa Monica, Calif., recording studio. "We're spending a lot of time just getting the sounds really good. Jim's a great producer and the songs are really stripped down and melodic. I think they're wonderful."

Tentative titles include "Run Away," "Heaven," "Life Marches On," "River Run," "Lighthouse," "Like I Do," "She," "Everytime I See Your Face," and "Everyday Lady." After wrapping up work on the new disc, the York, Pa.-bred band will road test material with a short set of East Coast dates in March. Live is also planning an extensive North American tour this summer.

The group, which broke through on the strength of its 5.6-million selling (according to Nielsen SoundScan) 1994 sophomore album "Throwing Copper," has struggled to connect with mass audiences ever since. "V" debuted in October 2001 at No. 22 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 282,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. The single "Simple Creed" featuring Tricky peaked at No. 11 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

Here are Live's tour dates:

March 22: Orlando, Fla. (Universal Studios Mardi Gras)
March 26: Plainview, N.Y. (Vanderbilt)
March 27: Lincroft, N.J. (Brookdale Community College)
March 29: Ithaca, N.Y. (Ithaca College)