Twenty years on from the original release of the Last Splash album The Breeders are now treading the boards playing it live from start to finish. Record-wise they’ve also released LSXX in support of the live performances - the original album, a round-up of ep tracks, demos & rarities and a third disc containing a 1992 live performance recorded by the BBC in Stockholm (the quality of which is mediocre at best, especially the rather muddy vocals) and a BBC session. The vinyl version of the package contains all of the above although the eps come as separate 10" pieces.
Back in the day The Breeders had pretty good critical success with the two singles taken from the album - 'Cannonball' and 'Divine Hammer' (both of which still get regular play in any half-decent indie club). Taking this review to the level of the personal rather than the ‘Muso’s Guide opinion’, however, I can’t say that in their heyday they made a great impact on me outside of those two songs (and their cover of The Beatles' ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ from debut album Pod) so in that sense I’m possibly the sort of punter this set is aimed at.
The intervening two decades haven't though made the bulk of these songs any more essential than they were when first released. Begun as a side project, albeit with illustrious original members and subsequent incomers of the same pedigree, the overall quality of songwriting just didn't match up to that of the protagonists' main bands, even when the project became the day job. Given the probable price of the vinyl edition you'd have to be an audiophile with a serious belief that you have a gaping Breeders-shaped hole in your collection to feel the urge to obtain that. As for the cd or downloads they won't be releases you return to time and again.
LSXX is released on May 13 and available from amazon.