It's Still Artastic 0802

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rovi.MR0000834976 7/30/02 Used
$7.99

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Review

Review Text Styrenes play edgy, ragged avant-rock that sounds like it was influenced by glam, Syd Barrett (most noticeably on the album's first track), beatnik poetry, jazz, and other styles, as you might expect from a proto-punk group with members of the Mirrors (who sometimes had the same lineup), Pere Ubu, Lounge Lizards, and Electric Eels. This collection, which adds a dozen previously unreleased tracks (including new versions of two Styrenes songs), holds together fairly well even though it's a hodgepodge. It includes board mixes and cassette recordings from live shows in New York, Cleveland, Boston, St. Louis, and the U.K., as well as four-, eight-, 16- and 24-track recordings in Cleveland, Columbus, Painesville, and New York. That's quite a range, particularly considering that the studio and live recordings date from 1975 to 1998. Despite the fluctuations in recording quality, music styles, and lineup, which includes Brian Buckley narrating a performance of "Back in Hell" at Long Island University and Pete Haskin playing sax on an instrumental titled "The Outer Limits," the songs flow together well enough that listeners need not worry about whiplash. Also, those unfamiliar with this band may be surprised to find that their songs are often catchy and witty. The tongue-in-cheek lyrics to "Drano in My Veins" are violent enough to satisfy Eminem fans, but other songs such as "Where the Girls Are" feature lyrics that are idiosyncratic in a less-provocative manner (e.g., "I want to be with the soapy girls/There's nothing like a lady that's clean"). This collection of rarities and previously unreleased material isn't consistently brilliant on all 27 tracks, but it has enough high points to reward listeners who are intrigued by this band. ~ Todd Kristel

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Drano in Your Veins - 2:50
  2. 2. Circus Highlights - 2:47
  3. 3. Radial Arm Saws - 4:43
  4. 4. Just Walking - 4:48
  5. 5. Jaguar Ride - 1:15
  6. 6. Everything Near Me - 1:26
  7. 7. Social Whirlpool - 1:22
  8. 8. Back in Hell - 5:42
  9. 9. As if I Cared - 4:29
  10. 10. Leave the Girls - 2:49
  11. 11. Inside of Here - 2:17
  12. 12. Outer Limits - 3:31
  13. 13. Cheap and Vulgar - 2:15
  14. 14. Girl Crazy - 2:11
  15. 15. Where the Girls Are - 2:28
  16. 16. Lukas Said - 2:58
  17. 17. Opus 12 - 2:21
  18. 18. Anxiety - 4:09
  19. 19. I Saw You - 2:17
  20. 20. It's Artastic - 4:40
  21. 21. Eyes of Satan - 2:22
  22. 22. Minstrel Boy - 2:54
  23. 23. Cold Meat - 4:01
  24. 24. Karma Bank - 4:45
  25. 25. Green Lamp - 3:02
  26. 26. Heavy Streets - 3:59
  27. 27. One Fanzine Reader Writes - 3:20

Product Details

Release Date
7/30/02 

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