CRAVATS: In Toytown: 2 x CD

Even on a label that released disparate oddities by the likes of Annie Anxiety, Captain Sensible, and Rudimentary Peni, Cravats were an anomaly. Equal parts Crass, Captain Beefheart, and what occasionally sounds like some coked-out funk band on a Black Randy bender, they delivered abrasive, dissonant, and oddly groovy tunes with humor, tautness, and a level of musical sophistication that stood well outside the comfort zones of the average punker. Here their four singles on the Small Wonder label are collected with the titular album on one disc, which itself is paired with a new remix of the entire album by none other than Penny Rimbaud, who produced some of those early releases. Crucial stuff here for those who like their punk a bit more esoteric and challenging than the requisite polka beats.

 –jimmy (Overground)