New Radiant Storm King Leftover Blues: 1991-2003

Emerging from the same early ’90s, Amherst, Massachusetts scene as Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh, New Radiant Storm King have weathered the many storms of their careers such as record labels collapsing and personal tragedies, staying together throughout. While other bands they’ve been involved with and influenced such as the Pernice Brothers, Guided By Voices and Silver Jews have enjoyed a more gratifying level of appreciation, New Radiant Storm King have existed in relative obscurity. Yet they’ve survived and continue to make very good records. Leftover Blues: 1991-2003 is a remarkably cohesive album considering it is simply a collection of rarities that slipped through the cracks from a band whose entire career seems to have slipped through the cracks. It is hard to work out where in the band’s 12-year chronology each song might come from, hinting that the band always sounded either ahead or behind the times, depending on your point of view. Just like that other great lost guitar band from the ’90s indie scene, Buffalo Tom, almost everything that New Radiant Storm King have recorded has been worth listening to, and Leftover Blues: 1991-2003 is no exception. It also acts as a good introduction to everyone who has yet to be won over by their wonderful, unpretentious music. (Contraphonic)