The Servants

Small Time/Hey Hey We're the Manqués

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The Servants' status as one of the great semi-lost bands of the C-86 era was cemented in 2011 with a compilation (Youth Club Disco) on tastemaking indie label Captured Tracks, and is only made stronger by the release in 2012 of a two-disc set documenting the recording of their ill-fated second record (which exists only in demo form because the band, now down to David Westlake and Luke Haines, fizzled out before recording for real) and a batch of alternate versions of songs that were on the group's debut album, Disinterest. The first disc shows off Westlake's wonderfully literate and off-kilter songcraft and sounds remarkably good for demos, thanks to the musicianship of Haines. The pre-Disinterest songs were recorded at a practice space and have a spikier, less polished sound than the album, but also a welcome boost of energy. Taken together, the discs are a testament to Westlake's skills and also kind of sad because this set documents the moment when it all went south for the band. Maybe not the best place to discover him, but a godsend to anyone who already has and wants the full story.

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