It would be nice to have some more documentation attached to this compilation. But it can be ascertained that at the very least, most of the cuts are from 1983-1985, that four of the 13 songs are taken from 7" releases, and that two of them were recorded live in 1983. Specimen have been lumped in with the 1980s goth rock movement, which the packaging of this anthology does nothing to dispel, since it's part of Anagram's goth collectors' series, and since the band could hardly look more the part on the sleeve photos. Actually, though, they were more upbeat and tuneful than most of the so-called goth bands, if not exactly upbeat and tuneful per se. It's middle-of-the-pack early post-punk, with lumpy beats, hovering synthesizers, grandson-of-Bowie doom-anticipatory vocals, and more sense of sonic dynamics than most goth acts. On "Syria," there are actually riffs and singable vocal lines that might have given it a chance on pop radio. The fidelity on the two live cuts isn't that good. Incidentally, this release is an enhanced CD with a video of the group doing "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang."
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger