January 21, 2003
Too Pure

Album Review

Though Laika doesn't seem the best of candidates for a greatest hits, the band celebrates its tenth anniversary with a stylish two-disc collection that offers most to fans of the band (as well as fans of clever design). Separated into hits and rarities discs, Lost in Space, Vol. 1 (1992-2002) spends about an hour with an intensive Laika history lesson (three songs originally on each full-length, plus one only available on a Volume compilation), then moves onto a collection of live songs, Peel Sessions, a few remixes, and one new song. The compilation portion is well-selected, balancing band favorites ("Sugar Daddy," "Shut Off/Curl Up") with popular successes ("Uneasy" and "Breather," a pair of busily percussive tracks with a moody arrangement and understated vocals). The rarities are no less intriguing, hardly a surprise from a band with such a firm grasp on the reins of quality control. The group's cover of Wire's "German Shepherds" is a highlight, along with the B-side "Lie Low" and a Jack Dangers remix of "Looking for the Jackalope." Though Laika LPs are far too compulsory to make this a first purchase, one attribute that might push it over into the essential category for on-the-fence fans: clever notes from Margaret Fiedler and Guy Fixsen regarding each song. For instance, here's a factoid: Fiedler owns the record for most appearances by a female on a John Peel session -- as a member of Moonshake and Laika, plus her guest spots on sessions by PJ Harvey and God Is My Co-Pilot.
John Bush, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. T. Street
  2. Sugar Daddy
  3. Breather
  4. Coming Down Glass
  5. If You Miss [Laika Virgin Mix]
  6. Bedbugs
  7. Go Fish
  8. Uneasy
  9. Shut Off/Curl Up
  10. Lower Than Stars
  11. Beestinger
  12. Prairie Dog [Maxwell House Remix]
  13. Looking for the Jackalope [Peel Session]
  14. Badtimes [Peel Session]
  15. Go Fish [Peel Session]
  16. Red River [Live]
  17. German Shepherds
  18. Lie Low
  19. Lyin' Goat
  20. Squeaky
  21. Marimba Song [Boo Boo's Gone Mambo]
  22. Looking for the Jackalope [Jack Danger's 236 Remix]
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