A surprisingly nice box set,
This review is from: Children Of Nuggets - Original Artyfacts From The Second Psychedelic Era 1976-1995 (Audio CD)
I purchased Children of Nuggets with a degree of apprehension. On the one hand, I'd read plenty of glowing reviews about it and how the four discs were packed with acknowledged classics and revelatory lost gems. On the other, I'd seen it chastised for a number of reasons. The primary complaint about it was that it tried to pigeon-hole and tie together 20 years of music and scenes that were in fact unrelated to each other in most cases. It was also said to have overlooked many great bands and songs.
With regards to the former complaint, there is a grain of truth, however, in the end this box set is nothing more than a great collection of songs and bands that clearly had one foot rooted in the 60's. Good music is good music, so what is so darned wrong with making a compilation of great music even if the theme is loosely tied together. The only warning I would give is to those expecting a box set based purely on garage rock revival bands. There are plenty throughout (The Cynics, The Fuzztones, The Milkshakes, The Crawdaddys, and The Miracle Workers to name a few), but there is also a diverse and ecclectic gathering of bands, songs, and styles to go with it. Everything from new wave, power pop, proto-punk, pop, and even a nod to the late-80's Manchester sound (The Las (yes, I know they're from Liverpool, but you know what I mean!), Inspiral Carpets).
To the latter complaint, I say that rarely (if ever) have box sets been made that have entirely satisfied their intended audiences or have gone without ample scrutiny. Do I enjoy the other Nuggets collections more? Of course. But is this compilation still worth it? Without a doubt. My one complaint: I would have liked to have heard another song by The Chills ("Pink Frost" is hauntingly sweet) and some of their Flying Nun Records contemporaries. But this is technically moot since I hadn't heard The Chills or of Flying Nun until I listened to this collection.
While there are definitely a few songs I might skip over and obviously songs I hold in higher esteem than others (not unlikely with roughly 100 songs), this compilation introduced me to a lot of good music. It has pointed me in directions that have resulted in fruitful purchases and discoveries. Without it, I might not be listening to The Milkshakes or any of the other amazing bands Billy Childish has been in (Thee Mighty Caesars, Thee Headcoats). I might not have found The Mummies (Never Been Caught and Death By Unga Bunga are must-haves), or a host of other music (I also recommend Roots Of Power Pop on Bomp! Records). If you have a broad musical palette, enjoy the previous Nuggets sets and guitar-based pop and rock, or you are interested in new music (to you; not in the present sense!), I suggest giving the Children Of Nuggets box set a listen. It was a very pleasant surprise for myself.