Inca Babies grimy, the Cramps-meet-the Birthday Party roar was one of the most distinctive sounds on the mid-'80s Manchester scene, and one of the most brutalizing. From the moment their debut single "The Interior" appeared in 1983, until a radically different lineup bowed out with the Black Lagoon album in 1987, the Babies maintained a barrage of noise that was as uncompromising as it was exhilarating. 1983-87: Plutonium is the band's first career-spanning retrospective, and a jolly good job it does. Although a double-CD would certainly have been preferable, still 15 tracks slip effortlessly across seven singles and three albums, not only picking up on the band's best vinyl performances, but also grabbing a couple of songs from their John Peel sessions; the closest that your living room will ever come to an Inca Babies concert, and twice as delirious because of that. Compiled in strictly unchronological order, but with a keen eye for the band's development regardless, Plutonium probably won't make many fresh converts for the band -- their music, while compulsive, was very much a time-and-a-place experience. But, for anybody who caught them (or wished they had) at the time, the diseased stranger's waltz goes on forever.
AllMusic Review by Dave Thompson