Better Late Than Never

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Other reunions receive more ink, but the irregular-but-constant existence of this historic Minneapolis Buzzcocks/Undertones-loving, Real Kids/Replacements-sounding, punky garage-rock act was equally welcome. This prime vehicle for underrated, resurgent singer/songwriter John Freeman even hit South by Southwest in 2006, and they must have been thrilled to be alighting for Europe for the first time in 2008, 23 years after their first concert. And while old fans awaited threatened new material 12 years after the fifth LP Street Date Tuesday, SMA reissued and revamped this 1990-1997 overview/rarities collection originally on Satellite Six in 2005. Better Late Than Never has all the spirit and garage chops of their trio of older, ‘80s Twin/Tone records (their debut was produced by Hüsker Dü's Grant Hart, after all), with two cuts of especially valuable live work, which is where they've always triumphed most. Newcomers could start here, or anywhere, as this is a premier, honest to goodness, thick-guitar and big drums, melodic, and exciting club-rockin' band.

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