Andy Partidge's demo albums "Fuzzy Warbles" have been a mixed bag for the XTC front man; the first two were terrific the second set quite good with a bit of filler while volumes 5 and 6 were the weakest of the lot but also had some of the best original songs on them ("I Can't Tell What Truth is Anymore", "Tin Circus of Life" from 6 and "I Defy You Gravity", the brilliant "My Land is Burning" and instrumental "Ice Jet Kiss"). The balance has been redressed with volumes 7 and 8. The marvelous "The Bland Leading The Bland" an outtake from Waspstar the weird "Shalloween" (which maybe Tim Burton will find good use for at some point) and "Through Electric Gardens" are all worth while from this set.
Sure there is the usual amount of filler but the filler here is better than 9/10s of what most bands put out. Even "Song for Wes Long" and "Happy Birthday Karen" have more melodic invention than most bands put into an entire album these days. As with the previous releases we get a deluxe booklet with lyrics and notes from Andy. If you order from Andy's website (Ape House) you'll get a limited edition 9th Fuzzy Warble release full of demos, a great "Collector's Album" to hold all the Fuzzy Warble albums and stamp copies of the album cover. You have to order both 7 and 8 or can order the box by itself. Remember, when you order from Ape House Andy gets the bulk of the monies himself. The "Collector's Album" also has an additional booklet with notes from Mr. Partridge.
The track listing for volume 9:
2. Now We All Dead (It Doesn't Matter)
3. Rain Of Blows (early version)
4. Reign Of Blows
6. Shake You Donkey Up
7. Happy Families
8. Here Comes President Kill Again
9. Beating Hearts
Either way you order this is a fine close out to the series. Although it missing some essential tracks that I had hoped would be included it's a worthy and successful close out that beats the bootleggers and with better quality no less!