JOYKILLER, THE: Ready, Sexed, Go: CD

Funny thing, drinking is. Seeing as I dug the last TSOL album, Todd gave me this ‘cause I’d told him I’d never heard any of Jack’s post-TSOL/Cathedral of Tears bands. As soon as I pressed play, though, I found myself thoroughly perplexed at my ability to sing along with damn near every track on this. Then it hit me: not only had I heard Joykiller before, I’d actually owned a couple of their cassettes, lost long ago and subsequently shrouded in the drunken haze that other people would probably identify as the 1990s. DOH! Sorry for unwittingly fibbing to you, homie, but you know how it is…. Anyway, this is an anthology of tracks culled from their three albums, plus a few unreleased tracks originally slated for release under the names “The Go” and “Gentleman Jack.” While the songs are just as swell as they were when originally released, it’s especially nice to hear the band’s progression from “good punk band” to “good punk band with some startlingly solid songwriting skills,” all in the space of one 80-minute disc, and the new tracks are just as swell as the older, more familiar tunes they accompany here. It’s also interesting to hear what is arguably the bridge from vintage TSOL to the current TSOL. Kinda helps to make a little more sense of that “comeback” album of theirs, Disappear, which took a little digging to find that old magic, ‘cause listening to this shows step-by-step what they piled onto that classic sound, thus making it easier to excavate it from their more recent work . But, in a sudden glut of overanalyzing, I digress. This is one fine album, buy many copies to make sure you always have one on hand and I thank both Epitaph and Todd for helping me to recapture some seriously lost memories.

 –jimmy (Epitaph)