Piebald

Barely Legal/All Ages

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

Not a brand new record, but instead something probably meant to appease fans until a new studio album came along, this double-disc set emerged on the heels of Piebald's re-formation after some lineup changes and a short hiatus. Still, it's a hearty and convincing package, and it has enough material to make the two-CD set worthwhile for anyone who considers themselves a fan of the group's poppy emo style. Beginning with Barely Legal, the first half of the set functions as the definitive collection of all the group's early recordings, from their multiple 7"s to the Sometimes Friends Fight EP, and even to the band's earliest and slightly embarrassing demos. The songs are a distanced cry from the band's more refined later works, but they also display the clear evolution they've undertaken over the seven years that the material spans. Much more palatable is All Ages, which contains the band's delightful and previously out-of-print LP When Life Hands You Lemons, along with some demos from the follow-up Venetian Blinds sessions, live tracks from the group's reunion shows, and plenty of other surprises. Some of the material works and some of it is just silly and pointless, but that's the Piebald way, and it is presented with no apologies. A lot of this material is available elsewhere, though some of it is increasingly difficult to find. The package puts it all together in one easy-to-handle set, and the live and unreleased tracks alone should be a real treat to anyone who's eager to dig a little deeper into the band.

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