Good Riddance - Capricorn One: Singles & Rarities (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Good Riddance

Capricorn One: Singles & Rarities (2010)

Fat Wreck Chords

It's great to see a B-sides collection released after a band breaks up so nothing is missed. Capricorn One: Singles & Rarities came three years after melodic hardcore/punk vets Good Riddance called it a day, and that ensures that their discography was combed well enough for this enjoyable and solid 21-track collection that spans both their social/political themes and frontman Russ Rankin's torch songs.

Unlike most compilations you might come across, there's no chronological order here. All the tracks are sequenced probably however the band saw fit. That means the mildly poppier slant of opener "Stand" (from 1997's Physical Fatness comp) gives way to the harder, crunchier brute of "Class War 2000", pulled from a 1996 split 7" with Ignite. It's a spate of early versatility on the disc sets the tone for Capricorn One: It contrasts nicely, but flows well regardless, like the Kid Dynamite shadowing of the fun and punctual "Overcoming Learned Behavior" (1999's Short Music for Short People) to the more frustration-laced, interesting major/minor key changes of the raw "Flawed" (1996 split 7" with Reliance).

The excellent, straightforward hardcore approach to "What We Have" (1997 split 7" with Ensign) picks things up perfectly after the relatively forgettable, lower-fi "Free" (1995's Decoy 7"). Rankin pretty much regards "What We Have" as a throwaway in the insightful liner notes (bonus), but in the context of this comp, it feels fresh.

Of course, there's a ton of songs with the skatepunk tilt of their mid-'90s output, like the darker "Off the Wagon" (another 1996 split 7", this one with Ill Repute), the R.K.L.-tinted "Tragic Kingdom" (an unreleased demo from 1993) and the grit and Fat Wreck-ish guitars of "Always" (2001's Live Fat, Die Young).

I think the Ataris stole a bassline from "Remember When" for "Angry Nerd Rock", too.

There might be occasional lulls and moments too generic to overlook despite the band's rugged honesty (it ends with all four tracks of 1993's okay-ish Gidget 7"), but this is an otherwise consistent collection that offers one final, valuable look on the overlooked gems of Good Riddance's long and storied catalog.