I've had this Crimpshrine box set sitting around for ages, but just never got around to taking pictures of it or writing about it. The main issue I've had is that writing about Crimpshrine's discography can be a little confusing. They had one full length and a bunch of EPs. Though part of that full length and some of the EPs were gathered onto one compilation album and then other songs from the full length and some other EPs were compiled onto another album. A few songs from the lone full length never ended up anywhere else, and that's not even counting the nine song demo cassette thing that had a B side that didn't even have any Crimpshrine songs on it at all. It had songs by five different bands. Confused yet? So am I.
Free Box contains vinyl versions of the two most well know Crimpshrine releases; Duct Tape Soup and Sound of a New World Being Born. These were the aforementioned compilations originally released on Lookout Records. These are also the records that I first listened to when getting into Crimpshrine, Duct Tape Soup being my introduction to the band. After all these years, I still think the songs on that album are so powerful and exciting to listen to. There's an energy about those songs, and pretty much everything they released, that's hard to quantify. I think it has a lot to do with how bands just don't record like that anymore. We've made some great leaps with recording technology, but in some ways we've lost that magic spark that the recording studios on those older punk records provided.
In addition to the two main LPs, there is a third album in this box set called 7 Song Demo + Berkeley Sampler. This is a reissue of a cassette that was put out back in 1987, though there were nine Crimpshrine songs on the cassette version. The two missing songs on the vinyl release, "Wake Up" and "Rancid Death Cafe," are on the other LPs, so I believe this demo is still complete if you count the contents of the rest of the box set. On the B side of this LP are 2 songs each from Basic Radio, Soup, Kwikwa, Distorted Truth and Sweet Baby Jesus. Just like on the original cassette.
In some ways, I love that I'm able to have nice clean versions of two amazing albums. But in other ways, I kind of wish Numero had taken this opportunity to clean up the band's confusing discography and re-release every song the band put out, grouped as their original releases. I also wouldn't mind those two missing songs from Lame Gig Contest being a part of this. That said, I still love this release and am happy my old Crimpshrine CDs can be retired in favor of a wonderfully put together vinyl rerelease.
Crimpshrine - Duct Tape Soup:
Crimpshirne - The Sound Of A New World Being Born: