The Story So Far... is a compilation of seven of the Lears' previously released early 45s, EP tracks, compilation tracks, and a few bits of unreleased material, all of which were recorded on a small TASCAM four-track recorder, then remixed and remastered for this 1997 Get Hip release. Several tracks date as far back as 1989, and most have raw garage-y style vocals and an unburnished Byrds-ian folk-rock quality to them, with Paul Mutchler's 12-string Rickenbacker right up front. The first two tracks appeared on a 7" single on the Minneapolis-based Susstones label in 1993. Of these, the B-side, "A Flash of Light," proves to be the more interesting number, rumbling in with its Bo Diddley-esque "shave and a haircut" rhythm before giving way to a Nick Lowe-style pure pop vocal (circa Pure Pop for Now People). Another original, "You Don't Believe," appeared on the Pretty Things-inspired tribute CD Not So Pretty, released by Australian label Shock Records in November 1995. One of the better tracks is "Coming Home Today," which sounds like an upbeat Roger McGuinn folk-rock extract and may remind some of the Byrds' "Mr. Spaceman." "Softly to Me" is a cover of a Love song penned by Bryan MacLean. "Thee Iguana Theme" is a dark, Eastern-influenced instrumental that might have sounded appropriate on any Electric Prunes album. The collection ends with a lengthy Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd-style instrumental, "Electric Mushroom Voyage," which was previously unreleased.
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AllMusic Review by Bryan Thomas