Go back to those Gold Soundz
With the reunion tour well under way, the ‘best of’ compilation was inevitable. Featured here are twenty three tracks from the kings of slacker rock that would often be lazily described as ‘a bit quirky’ or ‘offbeat’. To be fair, they really were all the way through their careers, from the low-fi early days and right up to their hi-fi final days. Each album was a change from the last and while the last two albums started to sound forced and intentionally off-key, they still sounded unlike any other.
Each of the tracks here are evenly grouped and don’t shy away from the demo-like quality of their EP releases, the record also throws in plenty of lesser known tracks which is surprising for a ‘best of’ compilation. Most of the singles appear here: from the waxing nostalgic of ’Gold Soundz’; through to the ever shifting heaviness of ‘Stereo’; the near anthemic ‘Cut Your Hair’; to the fuzzy tiredness of ‘Trigger Cut’.
In keeping with the essence of Pavement’s knack for calculated imperfection, it seems that Domino have swapped well known tracks like ‘Rattled By The Rush’ for the long winded jams like ‘Unseen Power Of The Picket Fence’ found on the special edition versions of re-released albums. While it makes a statement about the band’s flirtation with the mainstream, the order of the tracks make the final product more schizophrenic than the albums were as a whole; the straightforward “Slanted and Enchanted” era collides with the experimental “Wowee Zowee”.
Of course, all of this is made redundant by the fact that new listeners can just select the tracks they want from i-tunes and create their own mixes. For anybody else though, while it’s a timely reminder of hugely influential band, this is essentially a cash-in for those who didn’t get the re-releases.