So Nikki’s finally gotten to the point in his career where a “best-of,” or more appropriately, “an introduction to”-type compilation is de rigeur, a necessity concentrating some peaks down into one convenient package for those too cheap and lazy to go out and buy every rare single and import CD they can find, like, well, me. I’ve always enjoyed whatever of Nikki’s work has floated my way, from the first time I heard his version of Neil Young’s “Captain Kennedy” on the Bridge tribute album (one of the only tribute albums that rewarded more than one listen), to his more recent album with the Jacobites that’s spent a good amount of time in the player – oh fine, I’ll get up and find out the title… it’s “God Save Us Poor Sinners.” Happy now? Bomp also sent along a comp of Nikki’s first band, Swell Maps, which I haven’t had time to really get into yet, to be honest, seeing as it’s not up the same Keith Richards meets Alex Chilton alley as Nikki’s solo work, but it sounded okay – intriguing indie-noise from the early eighties, which is always an area worthy of investigation for me. Regardless of the Swell Maps disc, Nikki’s “The Last Bandit” comp’s pretty damn solid until the end, where it sort of peters out a bit – I assume these tracks are included due to their rarity and not their overarching quality – but the bonus solo acoustic disc makes up for it with seven sparse but haunting cuts. But what the kids really want to know, Nikki… is where the hell did you find that priceless gold-lamé suit you’re wearing on the cover? That’s picture’s fucking worth the cost of the album right there. I totally want that suit.
–guest (Alive/Total Energy)