Taking their name from a significant skirmish in the Bolshevik Revolution and appropriating charmingly naive socialist realist artwork for their album covers, Kronstadt Uprising started out in the early '80s as aggro-punk shouters in a mode that combined American hardcore influences with old-school British punk and Oi! inflections. Not surprisingly, the band soon found itself included on compilations put together by Crass and Flux of Pink Indians, but it eventually developed a sound that distinguished it from the rest of the British hardcore scene. That musical evolution is laid out plainly on this chronologically arranged 23-track compilation disc, which begins with the band's earliest demos in 1981 and ends in 1986. "Evolution" might be the wrong word, at least to the extent that it implies musical progress; by the mid-'80s drummer/bandleader Steve Pegrum had started wearing bolo ties and eyeliner and was bleaching and teasing his hair, and the band had lapsed from cacophonous but controlled political punk into a sort of half-baked garage rock with political overtones. By the end there were guitar solos, and not good ones either. But the first half of this generous overview is worth the price of the disc, and will be of interest to those who still treasure their vinyl copies of Strive to Survive or Stations of the Crass.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson