Timbuk 3's farewell to I.R.S. Records was a compilation of material from its four studio albums for the label. Singles ("Life Is Hard," "Rev. Jack & His Roamin' Cadillac Church") and choice album tracks ("Big Shot in the Dark," "Too Much Sex, Not Enough Affection") are brought together in a fairly logical manner, and I.R.S. even threw in a nice rarity with the hilariously mean-spirited blues march "Assholes on Parade," the B-side to "National Holiday." Though the band never got its due respect from the public, it crafted some of the wittier, more fully realized pop/rock of its time, so the "best-of" format doesn't do it full justice. Still, Field Guide is a good sampler, and if nothing else, it should show those who knew the band only from its 1986 hit "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" that Timbuk 3 was an outfit capable of depth, range, and occasionally even (despite the '80s-era rhythm machine that dates a few of the tracks) timelessness.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Kenneth Bays