Swell Maps

International Rescue

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

You'll have to be a pretty major Swell Maps fan to make heads or tails, at a glance, out of which songs on this 19-track compilation you may already have. It's all over the Swell map, including four songs that have never been on CD [including "Dresden Style (City Boys)," which was on a single]; three that have never been released anywhere; three "unreleased mixes"; and a few songs that appeared on U.K. singles ("Let's Build a Car," "Real Shocks," "Read About Seymour"). It doesn't really succeed as either a representative overview compilation or a rarities disc. Approached on its own terms -- which you might want to do if this happens to be the first, or only, Swell Maps album you get -- it's decent arty punk that's too monochromatic to sustain burning interest over the course of the lengthy program. It does have a heartier sense of joie de vivre than much U.K. punk/new wave of the period, particularly in the vocals.

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