Consumers should be warned, and Fuel 2000 and their co-conspirators at Varese Sarabande (and, by extension, MCA-Universal-Geffen, who own the latter) should be ashamed of themselves. The cool-looking slipcase and the title hide the fact that this double-CD set is nothing new -- rather, it's all an excuse to repackage (not reissue or repress, but simply repackage) the 2001-vintage Absolutely the Best
and the 2002-vintage Odds and Mods
. Now, those aren't bad collections, but neither was among the best ever done on the band either, and there are better collections of their music out there, most especially Sanctuary's Ultimate Collection
from 2003. This set is OK as far as it goes, which is limited to the group's Immediate Records output, all spacy garage punk with some pretty powerful playing and singing. Missing, however, is the handful of live tracks left behind by the band during their final year, which captured an essential facet of the band's sound as well as encompassing live versions of some of their early hits and repertoire that they didn't preserve in the studio. The annotation by Kent Benjamin
is at least thorough, and if all you want is a middling collection of the group's work -- as opposed to something truly comprehensive -- then there are worse releases on which you could spend your money, assuming you don't already own the two individual discs.