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Review by Brad Green:
Back in the days when garages were used for car storage instead of band practice, kids had to sharpen their guitar licks in their bedrooms. Although they probably didnít appreciate it at the time, most young pop hopefuls were much better served by this arrangement. Without the aegis of thick garage walls, amplifiers require containment to modest decibel output. Which tends to result in bands learning how to play their instruments, instead of learning how to use distortion to cover up the fact that they canít.

A predominance of chart-topping garage groups emerged in the mid to late-nineties and our ears are yet to be granted a total respite. Happily, thereís only a portion of this soundtrack devoted to the authentic, and execrable ďgarageĒ sound. The title track, for instance, is a delicate and exceptionally pretty little tune, and the rest adds up to a reasonable, if uneven, assortment of retro and contemporary pop-rock.

Among the best moments are Roxy Musicís Love Is The Drug, which still pulses with energy despite what the use-by-date might on the original issue might say; and Tom Jonesí Help Yourself, which doesnít really belong in any of the categories here, but no one should complain. Jones is the personification of the innate Welsh ability to sing louder, stronger and better than the combined vocal chords of every other population on the planet.†

Jones would probably agree that itís not unusual for contemporary rock to be overshadowed by the vintage variety; and thereís no exception here, with AC/DCís High Voltage clearly the pick of the raw riff content. This version by Kiwi outfit The D4 pays acceptable if surprisingly low-charged homage to the original.

As for the genuine grunge element, I reckon they need a bigger garage to rehearse in. Get them all together for a bulk jam in a truck depot, I say, and throw me the keys to the biggest rig.†

Published October 3, 2002

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TITLE: Garage Days
ID: 335852
ARTISTS: 28 Days; The D4; The Hives; The (International) Noise Conspiracy; The Jam; Tom Jones; David McCormack; Andrew Lancaster; Antony Partos; The Moldy Peaches; Motor Ace; Katie Noonan; Rhombus; Joey Ramone; Roxy Music; Spiderbait; Sonicanimation; Supergrass

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