Although the Exits put out just one single during their brief lifetime ("The Fashion Plague"/"Cheam," included on this CD), they did record about an album's worth of demos in early 1979 before breaking up. The Legendary Lost Exits Album combines the single with 11 of those unreleased recordings, including one of the songs that was intended to be their second single, "This Toytown World." Certainly it's a "lost album," but it's not quite "legendary." It sounds very much like Elvis Costello's early work in some respects, though a little less refined and considerably less striking in both the lyrical and melodic departments. There might be a little of Graham Parker as well, and the Exits certainly have more of a straightforward power pop sensibility than either of those artists. To be honest, the overlap with early Elvis Costello is sometimes large enough to be uncomfortable, as accomplished as these recordings are. Still, for fans of the late-'70s new wave/power pop crossover sound who want more without being under any delusions that it'll match the cream of the genre, it's satisfyingly tightly played and written stuff. Although many of these songs were demos, the sound quality and performances are virtually up to official release-level standards. The liner notes feature detailed comments by Exits bassist Colin Swan (who also co-wrote most of their material) on each of the 13 tracks.
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger