Cream Abdul Babar Excavation 1995 — 1998

Tallahassee metallic noise kings Cream Abdul Babar’s Excavation is an exhaustive (and impressive) double-disc release that highlights the group’s formative years and development from the potential-laden band they were to the "rock’n’roll kings” they’ve become. Excavation: Part One contains their debut full-length, The Backwater of Masculine Ethics, and while possessed of Cream’s trademark damage (trombone, manic vocals, filthy noisecore riffs) showcases a more up-tempo grunge/punk rock-influenced side to the band ("On Your Tongue” sounds like L7’s "Shit List” and hints of Nirvana, Helmet and Sonic Youth abound), but the heaviness, and glimpses of the overpowering wall of doom they’ll become are present. Excavation Part Two features three tracks from their Buried In Broken Glass EP and some rare and live tracks. Buried is when Cream started to define themselves, as their synthesis of dirge, noise rock and chaos became heavier, the pace slower and the band tighter, and the progression is evident here. While nothing on the collection touches the brilliance of their The Catalyst To Ruins full-length, for fans and completists, it’s a golden opportunity to beef up your Cream back-catalogue. (Public Guilt)