5 out of 5
Label: California Roll
Produced by: mu330 + David Probst
Assuming you: Like mu330; and tend to prefer their rockier side – think Chumps on Parade – over their more strictly ska stuff, then this best of collection is, indeed, a “best of” for your discerning (and fantastic) tastes.
Featuring a small handful of tracks off of Press, Chumps, and Crab Rangoon, plus a random 7″ grab, plus plus four unreleased tracks, this set firstly boils down the somewhat sparser Press to some key tracks, brings forward a smart collection of Chumps songs (which is tough, since that album is danged perfect), and also does the same intelligent selection from Rangoon, the charms of which can sometimes be hidden behind its oddities.
While this is, as suggested, more of a rock-forward set – rather naturally, by including fewer tracks from Press than the other rock-oriented discs – it’s not exclusive of poppier / ska-ier tracks, kept in to balance out the sequencing, which is grouped by album but is not in album order, showing that someone put thought into how these things should flow from one to another, and they did a fine job of it.
The unreleased tracks are absolutely worth it, though I’ll admit they sound a bit familiar, each one pulling a bit from other songs on other albums, including a track that has some of self-titled‘s indie-rock charms. But, while the structures may echo other mu330 songs, there are hooks or breakdowns that make them their own things, and we get four more opportunities to hear Dan singing his heart out and the crew playing their hearts out, so… yeah. I’ll take it.