Various Artists

International Hip Swing

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International Hip Swing compiles the best and brightest sides issued during the initial wave of K Records' justly celebrated International Pop Underground series of seven-inch singles; selecting 20 tracks from the first 39 volumes, it's tough to imagine a better introduction to the indie rock scene of the early 1990s -- each of these cuts captures the sound and spirit of its time to perfection. Though none of these singles received any kind of mainstream airplay, they're the true greatest hits of their era: from Beat Happening's primitivist love-rock ("Look Around") to Unrest's jittery, propulsive indie-pop ("Yes, She Is My Skinhead Girl") to Teenage Fanclub's grungy-yet-glowing power-pop (a magnificent cover of Alex Chilton's "Free Again"), the best of these songs possess an energy and excitement that the above-ground "alternative" bands of the period simply never matched.

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