Of course it would be a solid 35-minute dance-fest in the vein of Tsunami Bomb and Teenage Bottlerocket. Of course the artwork would look the same. Of course they’d give it away for free. Like the band’s name suggests, these songs belong to the people.
Given its thoroughly cheap price tag (FREE!), Rarities should function as an excellent introduction to folks who missed out on The Soviettes last decade, even though it’s also arguably the weakest album in the group’s discography. As members Annie Sparrows and Maren “Sturgeon” Macosko admitted in a recent interview with Punknews.org, some of these tunes are a bit rough. The harmonies that filled LP III are missing here. Sure, most of these songs predate the group’s Adeline material, but there’s still going to be a twang of disappointing for some fans looking for lost classics.
That’s relatively speaking, though. Rarities is still a good album, but given that the group’s three full-lengths were such tight pop punk concoctions, anything less cohesive pales. That’s why a rough track like “Twin Cities Sound” can be disappointing compared the group’s overall output yet still kick the shit out of 99 percent of all other music ever written.
But enough belly-achin’ – Rarities is priced to move and er’rybody should take advantage. These 18 songs run The Soviettes’ pop punk playbook hard and fast. The group doesn’t fuck with their musical formula, but they are willing to experiment with languages (Japanese tune “Mazacon” is mighty catchy, even if I have no idea what Susy Sharp is singing). Songs like “Plus One” and “Matt’s Song” (which was later rerecorded for LP) are bouncy and fun. Thirty-five minutes of free, high quality pop punk is hard to deny. Rarities reaffirms The Soviettes’ excellence. Now if only the band could reunite forever…