International Rescue is almost propagandist in its revisionism-- Swell Maps never sounded more like a real band. There should be a warning label affixed to this album to even the odds of people purchasing additional material: "Absolutely the best record available by Swell Maps." Active during the post-punk heaven that brought us Public Image Ltd., the Raincoats and just about everything else that''s still worth listening to, this band recorded some great songs and easily wasted as much tape. Swell Maps were an inspiration for punk fans that didn''t have a problem with rock n'' roll posturing. Where "Secret Island" obviously gave Sonic Youth and R.E.M. something to gnaw on, "Ripped and Torn" is pure rock drivel; its saving grace-- like most music from the period-- is that it''s played so ineptly. Over the years, Swell Maps'' catalog has been raided to bankruptcy, or so you''d think. Christ, even when they were still together, their last two records were compilations. With 1987''s Train Out of It and 1989''s ridiculously overstuffed Collision Time Revisited, the band had released twice as many retrospectives as they had original albums. A classic punk discography, to be sure. In 1999, the small Alive imprint decided to try their hand at unearthing additional Swell Maps delicacies. Believe or not, they''ve resurrected this ceaselessly recycled act, selecting not only unavailable cuts (who knew?), but the genuine cream of their crop. For the uninitiated, this album is all the Swell Maps you need to hear. Further exposure will only increase your resistance, as the best of both their serious albums (the first three cuts, and "Spitfire Parade") and aforementioned cut-ups are present on this compilation. It also includes "Winter Rainbow" and a live version of "Get Down and Get With It," which will likely have you in tears-- audacity rarely sounds this entertaining. (While there may be funnier moments on Collision Time Revisited, they''re drowned out by the album''s thirty other tracks.) As for rabid Swell Maps fans, you probably already have most of this stuff, but given the alternate mixes and unreleased cuts (all on par with their best material), it''s a must-have.

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ArtistSWELL MAPS Release date2005-05-26 Item no64431 Product groupVinyl MediaLP Record labelAlive GenreAlternative Rock ConditionNew, unplayed AvailabilityNot in stock Delivery1 - 3 weeks