Snuffy Smile (1996)
I'm very lucky that I've been able to gather a complete Snuffy Smile 7" collection over my years of buying records. I've said it many times, but they have essentially been my favorite record label in the world for close to 20 years now. When I went to Japan, one of my goals was to try to fill some holes in my Snuffy Smile CD collection. I didn't find many of the missing albums, but I did find a couple. One of which is this fine compilation.
I've actually had a different version of this comp for quite a long time. It was released in America on Broken Rekids under the name Peace And Love. That never deterred me from seeking out the original version. Ultimate Slow Beats has some of my very favorite bands from the first wave of Japanese punk rock that I started listening to.
You've got some of the more well known bands like Blew, Lovemen and Navel, all of which are among the best of the best bands you'll ever listen to. However, there are also some songs from equally great, but not quite as well known bands like Snatcher, International Jet Set and Just One Day (pre-The Urchin). Let's not forget about Cigaretteman, one of my all time favorites who dish up arguably my favorite song of theirs, "Sister."
These bands are just the tip of the iceberg, there are so many interesting sounds to hear across this compilation. While this Snuffy Smile version is a bit tougher to track down, if you're not as nutty about things as I am, you can hunt down the US version much easier. In fact, there's one on Discogs right now for five bucks. Probably the best five dollars you'll spend today.
Cigaretteman - "Sister":
Navel - "Chaos Mind":
International Jetset - "Today":