The Flaming Stars

Ginmill Perfume

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Ginmill Perfume most likely won't make the Flaming Stars a household name in the United States, but like with most catchy garage rock albums, you wouldn't know it by the sound of this Alternative Tentacles release's blistering 15 tracks pumping through your headphones. Opening strong with "Like Trash" (this version originally appearing on Bring Me the Rest of Alfredo Garcia (Singles 1995-1996)), a Yardbirdsy guitar lick trips a frenetic piano and drum push into what feels like timeless insurgent pop. The pace waxes and wanes between a suave swagger and relentless punk grit, but it never really lets up. Each track is familiar in that donut-hole vacuum sort of way -- substance reinvented, intended influences unfolding into something unintended but original -- like the Modern Lovers but without the sarcasm; like the Velvet Underground but less to the point. Dark and gloomy like the Bad Seeds, but then things'll lighten up. The doom's still there, but it's got a bouncier Smiths or Beautiful South c'est la vie tone to it. Then some creepy surf guitar and straining organ will show up. Ginmill Perfume presents a splendidly sordid collection of singles and other songs singled out as crucial to "the story so far."

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