Other Kids

Neverland

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Neverland is a complete retrospective of the Other Kids, a late-'80s jangle pop band from Madison, WI. Including the band's three albums in their entirety, Neverland is the definitive portrait of this average but fairly consistent bar band, most known for opening up for more popular Midwestern quantities like the Replacements. Granted, the Other Kids weren't much known outside of insider circles -- like the college crowd in Madison or fans of bands like the dB's, whom the Other Kids were visibly influenced by. The best stuff here -- and, at their best, The Other Kids could hold their own with their more established peers -- is sturdy, hooky jangle pop, such as the charging, Replacements-esque rocker "Livin' Downtown" or pop-like "Where the Wild Things Are." But keep in mind that Neverland is also in many ways a retrospective of your local bar band; sure, they're occasionally brilliant, but there is a reason they didn't get further. A good deal of Neverland is just rote filler, then, and when they miss, they do so very badly (such as on the obnoxious and downright offensive "Flamin' Drag Queen"). A one-disc compilation would've better suited the band as an introduction, but with the creative use of your CD player's "program" feature, you can pull a pretty good album out of here.

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