|Mustard Plug - Masterpieces: 1991-2002|
Release Date: September 6th, 2005
Record Label: Hopeless Records
It truly is an incredible musical experience when one band manages to excite you, impress you, and elevate you to a level of complete and total happiness. However, it's even more incredible when that same band allows you to relive every highlight, every memorable experience, and most importantly, every note that made you addicted to that band in the beginning.
The band is Mustard Plug, and these are their masterpieces.
The ska-punk legends are back. After outlasting countless lineup changes, the dying popularity of the ska scene itself, and other obstacles one could only imagine, Mustard Plug continually breathe new life to the ska scene time and time again. This time fans of the bands are blasted with not new material, but a properly-arranged collection of the bands biggest hits and most popular gems. With tracks ranging from the bands impressive debut, 1992's Skapocalypse Now!, to their most recent full-length effort Yellow #5, Mustard Plug have arranged a fantastic, exhilarating assemblage of everything any fan could ask for.
Masterpieces: 1991-2002 first makes its mark with "Beer (Song)", a track which not only precisely captures the groups undeniable energy, but their ongoing ability to write infectious hooks. "Mr. Smiley", one of the bands earliest crowd pleasers, is a much-needed blast from the past, sitting perfectly between selections from more up-to-date releases. "Go", the sixth placement, emphasizes frontman Dave Kirchgessner's powerful, in-your-face voice, sitting nicely alongside one of the bands most addictive offerings to date.
"Everything Girl", which is arguably the fan-favourite amongst listeners, sounds even better than it did before, courtesy of Bill Stevenson and his almighty re-mastering skills, showing these songs new life. "Yesterday", on the other hand, is an unequaled success displaying Mustard Plug's consistent knack for breaking down the barrier between ska and punk music. Moving on, what kind of collection would this be had the guys not decided to throw the toe-tapping, boot-stomper in the mix? I'm speaking, of course, of the highly-acclaimed "Skank By Numbers", standing undoubtedly as one of the highlights from the bands mesmerizing live show.
It's safe to say the song selection is far from a letdown, but why should longtime fans of the band (who have accurately purchased the entire discography already) buy this release? Each and every track has been re-mastered, showing not only more enticing signs of all parties offered, but improving sound quality to a whole new level. Additionally, the insert contains a small note from members of the band with thoughts on each individual track, a mini discography, and an accurate summary of the bands ever-changing lineup. Finally, as if the wasn't enough, the disc is enhanced including music videos for both "Everything Girl" and "You".
I believe Hopeless Records said it right: with this release, Mustard Plug offer a look back for longtime fans, as well as a look forward for music fans eveywhere that are just discovering these ska-punk legends. If there's any one Mustard Plug release a listener should own, let Masterpieces: 1991-2002 be it.