Given the sheer amount of material that emerged in the early '90s both under Sonic Boom's own name and the Spectrum name -- as it turns out, merely the tip of the iceberg of his near-endless series of solo recordings -- it's little surprise that eventually a compilation would come along. While What Came Before After doesn't quite have everything from those years, it's a more than respectable effort, with only the hardcore completists left out in the cold. Unsurprisingly, given the collection came out on Sympathy for the Record Industry, the emphasis on What Came Before After rests on the two major singles that label put out: the American True Love Will Find You in the End double vinyl 7" and the expanded Indian Summer EP. The running orders are altered slightly, and there's a slightly curious name change, with "Taste the Ozone" now called "2 Chord 12 Bar," a self-descriptive enough moniker. The remainder of the disc skips through various releases, pulling together some of the best selections. Sonic Boom's bemusing collaboration with Frank Kozik on Charles Manson's "Mechanical Man" takes a bow, as does the slightly different drum mix of "Help Me Please." Both sides of the "Octaves"/"Tremelos" single also crop up, with the rest of the disc filled out by "My Life Spins Round Your Every Smile" from the How You Satisfy Me EP and "Ecstasy (In Slow Motion)" from Drone Dream. Appropriate cover art, with Sonic Boom standing amid toys and gear, completes the effort. In an interesting touch, the actual cover photo itself is the cover of Spectrum's Highs, Lows and Heavenly Blows, without all the colorful alterations and distortions.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett