Ned's Atomic Dustbin

Intact: The Singles Collection

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It took them a while, but Ned's Atomic Dustbin garnered a rabidly faithful following on both sides of the Atlantic. Indeed, throughout their original eight-year life span, Ned's Atomic Dustbin proved even more popular in the U.S. than in their U.K. home, with Americans handing them a chart-topper and four other Top 30 hits. Which means U.S. fans will likely find Intact: The Singles Collection a little disappointing, as it omits three of them -- "Grey Cell Green," "Walking Through Syrup," and their stomping cover of the Bay City Rollers' "Saturday Night." Then again, this is a British compilation, and none of those singles, strange as it may seem, saw U.K. release. What listeners do get here is a clutch of brilliant numbers like "Prostrate" and "Faceless" in amongst a string of non-album British B-sides; original 45 mixes; and "Trust," which just missed the U.K. Top 20 and entitled the band's second British EP. Conversely, what's missing for U.K. fans are non-charting singles, including anything off the band's debut Ingredients EP. So, no matter where you're perched, this is not a perfect set. Still, it's Ned's, and that's good enough. With their unique dual bass assault, Ned's Atomic Dustbin had a heavy, heavy sound, the heaviest grebo sound around, yet for all that weighty bottom end and wah-wahing guitars, the group had an incredible lightness of touch around a melody, consistently coming up with great pop hooks and singalong choruses. This was as true of their B-sides as their hits, which means there's not a dud song on this set, while the track listing is fairly chronological, so one can even chart the band's progress over the years. It's a potent package.

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