Various Artists - The Brit Box: UK Indie, Shoegaze & Brit-Pop Gems Of The Last Millennium

Rhino are the UK scene preservation society

For devotees of British alternative rock, the tracklisting here might seem a little obvious. Does anyone with the slightest knowledge of UK music in the last three decades really need How Soon Is Now? or Common People pointed out to them? Taken as intended though, as a musical textbook (or Bible) for Stateside Anglophiles, this set actually does a pretty fine job. Signposting the touchstones, it fills in the gaps with lesser-known acts from the C86, shoegaze and Britpop scenes such as Eugenius, Mega City Four or The Lemon Kittens.
Some bands do still seem an odd pick; taste is subjective, but really, why include Hurricane No 1 at all? Again, song choices are erratic; while they wisely plump for the Boo Radleys’ wonderful Lazarus rather than Wake Up Boo!, few New Order devotees would choose to have them represented by Regret. Even such occasional winces, though, lend a charming time-capsule quality. And it’s some capsule, with Rhino again proving themselves market leaders as far as packaging is concerned. Housed in a mini-replica red telephone box, complete with flickering light bulb, for that desolate Morrissian chic, and an 80-page book with a foreword by indie scenemeister Alan McGee, it’s as adorable as you like.

3 stars 3 stars 3 stars

Rhino | 8122799835

Reviewed by Emily Mackay
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