Consisting of tracks compiled from 7-inches, splits, compilations and live bootlegs, this vinyl reissue presents a cross-section of early- to mid-career Harvey Milk; and while some of the material on this release represents the band’s greatest work (if the track “I Don’t Know How To Live My Life” doesn’t get your blood moving, you might want to check your vitals), other tracks merely offer closure for completists. Since multiple releases are represented, the collection covers a lot of ground, from the glacially paced, Swans-tinged, wait-for-it avant-sludge of “Yer Mouse Gets My Dander Up,” to the classic rock-infused “Jimmy Page’s,” to the aforementioned “I Don’t Know How.” There’s even a fuzzed-out cover of Mozart’s “Greensleeves” with lyrics appropriated from “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.” (It works, and it’s mind-boggling.)
A pair of live, bootleg-quality recordings toward the end of the record are easily skippable. While not the most palatable record for the uninitiated Harvey Milk listener, The Singles reveals a huge slice of the band’s timeline from their obscurity in the ’90s to their well-deserved post-reformation success a decade later.
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