Grinspoon - Best In Show

With a career spanning 10 years Grinspoon have managed to carve out a respectable name for themselves in the Australian rock music scene (that is until they released their last offering "Thrills, Kills + Sunday Pills" in 2004…but we will get to that later). So after such a long run of belting out great rock songs they decided to do what all bands do when it is either time to quit the business or make more money…that being release a "best of" album.


With the title "Best In Show" this double album offers up a mélange of musical memorabilia from this group of Lismore lads. It seems like a "best of" album these days mostly just contains the singles released throughout a bands' career and not a lot of other songs, you know, the ones on the albums that tend to be better in most cases. In this case where are "Sickfest", "Repeat", "Pedestrian", "Anyday, Anyhow", "Violent & Lazy" or "Signpost"? These are all great songs! Yes, I know we can't have it all.


I have to ask again, Where is "Sickfest"? This song was first released on the "Green EP" and was actually the track that got the boys their first break…it won Triple J's very first Unearthed competition. It seems strange to not include it on the album. It definitely wasn't due to time restraints.


Disc one is composed of 18 tracks taken from Grinspoons' collection of EPs and full-length albums released since they kicked things off in 1995. The boys had their most success yet, when in 1997 they released "Guide To Better Living". The four singles from that album ("Champion", "DCX3", "Post Enebriated Anxiety" and "Just Ace") show a musical side of Grinspoon that instantly won them many fans. This didn't change when in 1999 they released "Easy", their second album. "Secrets", "Rock Show" and "Ready 1" are three of their biggest hits and helped to gain the group status as one of the biggest rock groups in Australia at the time. "Chemical Heart" (released in 2002 with their third album "New Detention") became one of the most well known rock (ballad) anthems of that year and other tracks from that album, "Lost Control", "1000 Miles" and "No Reason", which feature on disc one, have become fan favourites.


From "Thrills, Kills + Sunday Pills" they have taken the tracks "Bleed You Dry", "Hold On Me', "Better Off Alone" and "Hard Act To Follow". Their last album – with songs contributed by all band members – showed a softer rock side of Grinspoon, one that many fans did not accept with open arms. However it was one that gained the band a new fan base. I have always preferred the early "Grinners" work and with the way the tracks are set out on this disc you can see the progression the band have made over the years.


The first track, "Sweet As Sugar", is a new piece of work. Made specifically for this release, this song is not as the name suggests. It fails to stand out in the crowd of Grinspoon hits that proceed it.


Disc two contains six covers from legendary Australian bands such as Midnight Oil, Hoodoo Gurus, INXS and The Angels. Notable mention must be made to Grinspoons' versions of INXS' "Don't Change" (which first appeared on the "Panic Attack" EP) and The Angels' "Take A Long Line".


This is a great collection of their work but what can we expect now from the Grinners boys? Another 10 years of music? My hope is that they return to their roots and release another album of the likes that got them started in the Australian rock business.



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