Of the many things I like about living in Osaka, I never expected anything related to British music to be part of the perks. This was until last week, however, when I stood (bounced) a mere few metres away from the stage, as the Kaisers rocked this tiny little venue on the fourth floor of a building and produced easily the best atmsophere of any gig I have ever been to.
Another plus point was that, as a kind of prelude to their tour of the country, the band released this Japan-only mini-album, full of songs which the likes of myself - who had only heard the tunes that made it onto Employment - would not have known before. The Kaisers set themselves a high standard with their debut album and it is on this that they will doubtless be judged in the future, but I'm pleased to say that this compilation of mostly B-sides does not disappoint.
The disc suitably opens with the double-A side track Sink That Ship, and contains a further five songs that, while new to me, I have found myself singing to myself at various times over the last couple of weeks. From the pace of Sink That Ship at the beginning we slow down to reach Not Surprised in the middle - reflecting a similar range to that of Employment - and while I can't claim to have been overly taken by the Polysics remix of Na Na Na Na Naa, Lap Of Honour finishes triumphantly with the pure energy of the live version of Take My Temperature - sure to evoke smiles and memories of the atmosphere anyone fortunate enough to have seen the Kaisers in the flesh will have experienced.
If you have the singles, then you probably won't need this CD. If you don't, then I suggest you waste no time in buying it and in turning up your speakers to rather loud volumes.