Anthology by The Clean

Anthology serves as a celebration of The Clean, a band whose influence extends so far beyond their New Zealand home that even if you have never heard of The Clean before, you have surely heard of some of the bands (Pavement, Yo La Tengo, and Superchunk, to name a few) who have been influenced by their unique blend of homemade garage rock, hook-filled melodies, and psychedelic experimentalism. The album is a compilation from across The Clean’s legendary career, which began in 1981 and continues today. Merge originally released the 2-CD Anthology in 2003, but in celebration of our 25th anniversary, we felt the time was right to release this essential collection on quadruple LP.

Vinyl LP box set £51.52 MRG220LP

4LP on Merge.

  • Includes download code
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CD £17.99 MRG220CD

2CD on Merge.

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Anthology by The Clean
1 review. Write a review for us »
9/10 Clinton 09 July 2014

"Just one record". I hear Li’l Biz cry. Can we just have one record to enjoy this week? We can’t be relying on Madlib every single week can we? This compilation from the fine New Zealand outfit might have to do for today. I’ve heard this stuff a zillion times but this is a fantastic compilation of 46 of their greatest moments spread across a double CD and 4LP box set. I’m a little concerned about the sound quality on opener ‘Tally Ho’, I can’t remember my copy being pushed this far into the red. The track is surely distorted a bit too much for comfort but by the time you get to the strummy ‘Billy Two’ things have settled down a bit.

Where to start with this band? Well there are no bells and whistles, they don’t have the dark charm of The Chills, or the clever structures of The Verlaines, they are a more down to earth proposition with simple chord progressions, lo-fi production, short songs featuring charmingly off key vocals. More obviously influenced by Velvet Underground than anyone but there are some marvellous moments, ‘Point That Thing Somewhere Else’ is one of my favourite The Clean tracks, a churning rhythm, dark post punk guitars droning away alongside pulsating bass. ‘Fish’ too is memorable, seemingly recorded in a watering can, the influence on Yo La Tengo and Sonic Youth is plain as the nose on your face. You can’t go wrong with this comp. Plenty for anyone to enjoy who likes a bit of scratchy lo-fi guitar fun.  


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