A Little Taste Of...

Bargain Music

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A Little Taste Of... Review

by Stewart Mason

Neither a standard greatest-hits, a proper odds-and-sods compilation, nor a normal live album, A Little Taste Of hits all of those points over the course of its 12 songs. This is, of course, entirely appropriate for an overview of Southern California's Bargain Music, a band whose previous albums have ranged from Sublime-style ska-punk to loosey-goosey jam band workouts to skewed country-rock. So here we have the woozy Tom Waits pastiche "Percolator" up against the live shaggy-dog story "Date #1" (which wouldn't sound out of place on a Jack Johnson album), both of them later followed by the ten-minute live reggae workout "Call It Quits" and the politically-charged funk workout "Rock and Stone." The only reason Little Taste Of works is that this kind of wide stylistic variety is what fans expect from Bargain Music, and that all the tracks have the same level of tongue-in-cheek looseness. Although probably not the best starting point for newcomers, there's much for fans to enjoy here. [This 2005 Beatville CD has a bonus CD-R track.]

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