Bands come and bands go, of course, but the swift demise of Sarge still stings -- with their breakthrough sophomore album The Glass Intact, the group delivered on all the promise of their previous records, perfecting a taut, infectious brand of punk-pop distinguished by the vulnerable vocals and razor-sharp songs of frontwoman Elizabeth Elmore. The bittersweet Distant compiles the remaining odds and ends from Sarge's all-too-brief career, assembling a hodgepodge of demos, live recordings, and covers; opening with the band's final new recordings and concluding with a pair of Elmore solo efforts, the set is highlighted by both electric and acoustic versions of "The End of July" (aka "all my plans changed..."), a heart-rending evocation of separation and loss given even greater impact by its context. At the core of the record are a half dozen live tracks recorded in August of 1999 while opening for another late, lamented Champaign band, Braid; drawing primarily on material from The Glass Intact, the performances vividly capture the raw desperation at the core of Elmore's songs, seething with the intensity and immediacy that made Sarge so affecting. A fitting farewell.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny