Popguns

Another Year Another Address: The Best of the Midnight Years

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The Popguns' failure to rule the charts remains a mystery -- armed with all the melodic ammunition their name implied, the group's jangly, effervescent guitar pop was aggressive but oddly tender, landing squarely between the punk manna of the Buzzcocks and the breathless energy of the C-86 movement. Assembling singles alongside highlights from the LPs Eugenie and Snog, the 18-track Another Year Another Address: The Best of the Midnight Years captures the Popguns at the top of the game, reeling off one should-have-been-hit after another; the opener, "Because He Wanted To," is as timelessly brilliant as anything to appear during the 1990s, and the rest of the disc isn't too shabby, either. But as Everett True's liner notes suggest, the band's commercial stumble only lends new depths of meaning to their music -- "Layer upon layer of a most delicious melancholy" -- and in hindsight, it's tough to imagine acts from Velocity Girl to Elastica to the Cat's Miaow existing minus their influence.

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