Believe it or not, the title of Ducks Deluxe’s 2010 compilation Side Tracks & Smokers explains it all: this is an odds-and-ends collection of B-sides from the band’s heyday, live cuts of a recent vintage, and a new studio track. Skipping through the decades might seem like a recipe for disaster, and while there’s no denying that the live tracks showcase a more seasoned band, this all hangs together very well and provides plenty of highlights. While the vintage tracks are undeniably strong -- “Saratoga Susie” swings nicely, “Hearts on My Sleeve” flirts with power pop -- those new live tracks find a reunited Ducks in a fiery fashion, capable of riding out elongated reggae rhythms or stretching out “Teenage Head” to nine minutes. Perhaps this is something only of note to the dedicated, but those who still love Ducks Deluxe in 2010 will find this Side Tracks worth a few spins.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine