Maximum Joy Unlimited (1979-1983)

Bristol’s Maximum Joy formed out of the post-punk movement of the late ’70s and flourished under the influence of the merger of punk, funk and reggae. Their sound ranged from abrasive to ethereal, but it was all ultimately arresting. Strong on improvisations, Maximum Joy pushed the experimental side of the post-punk era and took well-honed cues from their peers and predecessors while shifting and transforming these established sounds into new territory. Unlimited (1979-1983) is a compilation of rarities with a few album tracks from one of the best bands to come out of the post-punk movement. Included here are the essential singles "White & Green Place” and "Stretch,” which both manage to perfectly capture the definition of Maximum Joy’s work by combining such ranging elements, like funk-driven rhythms and vocalist Janine Rainforth’s impromptu screams between verses, in small time spans. Many of the tracks here do the band justice by encapsulating Maximum Joy’s boundary pushing, such as "In the Air,” "Silent Street” and "Man in Tribes.” And although the band drew inspiration from the strife surrounding race riots and Thatcherism, there was a sense of strength and exhilaration that plays out in every song here. (Crippled Dick Hot Wax!)