An after-the-fact collection (Cub broke up in 1996, after the release of the fine Box of Hair) of singles, compilation appearances, and oddities, 1997's Mauler wraps up all of Cub's loose ends. Like most indie pop groups of the mid-'90s, Cub considered the 7" single to be sacrosanct (their second album, Come Out Come Out, was originally released in a limited edition of three 7" EPs), and most of their best moments took place at 45 rpm. The career-defining "New York City" and "My Chinchilla" are both here, as is the terrific "The Day I Said Goodbye," from a split single Cub shared with the pop-punk trio the Potatomen. Three covers show influences both expected (Joan Jett's "Runaway") and surprising (the Hollies' "You Know He Did," turned into a garage rock stomp halfway between "Louie Louie" and "Wild Thing," complete with a dead-on recreation of the ocarina solo from the latter; "She's Like a Rainbow," a slightly mistitled cover of the Rolling Stones' trippiest moment, "She's a Rainbow"). As is usually the case with this sort of compilation, the other tracks are pretty hit or miss. This is more for established Cub fans than newcomers, who should probably check out any of the trio's three proper albums first.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason