Album Reviews

Ned’s Atomic Dustbin – Anthology (Cherry Red)

neds

Ned’s Atomic Dustbin came of age in a time of musical transition. The baggy scene was winding down, the alternative-rock boom was getting ready to take place, but this British five-piece–with two bass players as their gimmick–would make a brief splash. Bright artwork and funky rhythms beget some of the best t-shirt designs of the era. They were a singles band, and for all their fun onstage, funny videos, and quirky songs, on a full length, the material often fell short of spectacular. It’s telling that the bass player admits as much in his liner notes for this compilation.

Still, setting aside those limitations, Ned’s did have some great moments, and they had a real knack for writing catchy pop songs. Who doesn’t remember hearing “Grey Cell Green” in the clubs and on the radio in the early 90s, or hearing “Terminally Groovy” on mixtapes, and the “Kill Your Television” mantra still rings true today. Whatever their limitations may be, it’s impossible to deny the contagious youthful energy that exudes from their songs, and, as is true with all pop music, that’s all that really matters, right?

Included in this package is the DVD premier of their popular videotape, Nothing is Cool, a collection of videos, live performances, and goofing off–all great fun. It was a popular seller when it was released, because it added that energetic element that might have been missing from their records. Ned’s knew that the wheel did not need to be reinvented–but they had a hell of a time living it up.

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