Various Artists – Squirrel Records Nut Boppin’ Whoppers!

What the hell is this? Have these people never heard of mastering? What we have here is a rather superb label (Squirrel Records) sampler compilation (possibly the best I’ve bought in ages) completely ruined by precipitous swings in the levels between tracks. The Real Losers‘ wonderfully raucous Bad Girl/Cheap Fun is so loud that sorting the volume for it leaves the following pop-tastic Doot-da-doot by The Unlovables‘ (available from their website – dig that key change!) barely audible.

OK, a minor quibble in such a stonking batch of tunes. The main marketing point of this appears to be the fact it contains the ‘original version’ of The CribsBaby Don’t Sweat. Like most of their ilk (and no doubt showing my age) I’ve heard of them but that’s it. A brief check of their website reveals a clip (tsk, tsk) of the newer version of the song which has most of the rough charm of this beaten out of it. Current faves: The amazonian glam-a-lama of The Bazooka BoppersCops Took My Baby Away; rather surprisingly ‘the hippy track’ by Jen Schande; and, of course, the two tracks by the unspeakably great Spookey (much, much more of whom next week).

None of this’ll change you life, it is just yet another garage/punk compilation – but it is a particularly fine one. Of course there’s a few completely duff tracks (five or so) but there’s 27 in total on here! That’s not just a decent ratio, but bloody miraculous these days.

And no, the soundcheck facility in iTunes does feck all to help.

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Written by Tony Kiernan

15 November 2005 at 5:46 pm

Posted in Records

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