Various Artists

Ace 30th Birthday Celebration: Garage Rock & Punk

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Founded in 1975 by record dealer Ted Carroll, former Horslips manager Roger Armstrong, and industry vet Trevor Churchill, Britain's Ace Records -- its name borrowed from producer Johnny Vincent's legendary American label -- reigns among the world's most ambitious and rewarding reissue imprints, restoring to print untold numbers of long-lost R&B, soul, and rock & roll classics overlooked by major labels in their rush to endlessly repackage the same shopworn hits. One of four anniversary compilations issued in celebration of Ace's 30th birthday, this 20-track compilation spotlights the label's impressive catalog of mid-'60s garage rock nuggets, and though a budget-line, self-congratulatory release, it's also an uncommonly effective and entertaining overview of post-Beatles rock & roll at its most infectious and galvanizing, forgoing the tried-and-true hits to uncover the stomping, slashing sounds bubbling out of the basements, roller rinks, and garages of suburban America. Highlights include the Sonics' "Have Love, Will Travel," the Last Word's "Sleepy Hollow," the Bugs' "It's About Time," and She's "Outta Reach."

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