Imagine if your favorite band broke up. You were sad. You cried. You watched Steel Magnolia's. You rented Fried green tomatoes.
Then they put out not one, but TWO singles CDs.
And instead of the usual singles collection of comp. tracks you've already heard, or shitty songs you don't want to hear anyway, they chock it full of quality primo shit as good if not better than anything they put out (the jawbreaker b-side disc comes to mind).
That is what Discount has done. They broke up right when their last disc Crash Diagnostic came out. If you were in a female led pop (as in catchy, not sugar coated) punk band in the last decade you would have been compared to either Tilt or Discount. It was always at least one of those two.
What made Discount stand out was they had a sound. It wasn't formula, it wasn't predictable, it made the usual pop-punk crowd stare at their feet in humiliation. Alison's lyrics weren't high school diary fumblings, they were poetry. They made music, not youth entertainment, even though most of the time you were tapping your feet too much to notice the difference. The drumming was always tight as hell, and the song structures were open enough to provide room for anything. Alison's vocal delivery was rapid, and spitting with one of the most unique patterns and knack for cadence I've ever heard. She didn't 'sing', she didn't 'snarl', she belted out the words with a down to earth cold day clarity and snapping bite giving as much pause as the words needed.
Discount were poppy, but they were explosive at the same time, they were a curiosity in pop-punk. They still sound like no one else. They went from my favorite album, the frantic and alive Half Fiction to the complexity of their last album still sounding relevant and fresh.
What makes this record so good is I consider myself a Discount fan yet I had previously only heard one of the 16 songs on here. That song "Disappointed" was on a comp. and on the comp. it had a break in the song that wasn't supposed to be there, so this was the first time hearing it as it was meant. Otherwise, it was a full record of new songs.
It's 16 great songs. There isn't any filler, and Its classic Discount. If you liked Discount, these two singles collections are not just for completists or die hard fans, they are for anyone who ever heard Discount. I wish all bands did this when they broke up, then again most bands don't have this much good material left. It only makes me miss Discount more. If I didn't know it was a singles collection, I would have thought they were 2 new albums.
The liner notes are full of photos, and notes on where each song came from. Look out for a review of volume 2 where I'll talk more about what they sounded like if you're new to them, and a review of Alison's new band The Kills.