Various Artists

Swing Sucks

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AllMusic Review by

Liberation Records follows up its successful ska compilation Ska Sucks by covering another major dance fad of the late '90s, the retro-swing movement. Swing Sucks doesn't quite measure up to its predecessor -- the Royal Crown Revue is the only band that will be immediately familiar to most, and the roster of unknowns and regionally popular bands makes for an uneven listen. The highlights tend to come from those groups who genuinely enjoy and respect the music, while others get bogged down in a smirky, "ironic" fixation on catch phrases and surface trappings, betraying a lack of understanding about how revolutionary this music really was when it first appeared (and, often, about how it should be played). In other words, for every Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums, there's also a Hipster Daddy-O & the Handgrenades (their contribution is, of course, titled "Daddy-O"). Still, it's a matter of taste, and some retro-swing aficionados do enjoy the latter style as well; they're the ones who will probably find the most to enjoy on Swing Sucks.

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