And here we have the precise moment where digital downloads reveal their fatal flaw to me. Big D and the Kids Table release Built Up From Nothing: The D-Sides and its attendant Strictly Dub disc on October 2, but SideOne Dummy sent me an advance download for review.
While I can review the music easily, putting the details into perspective is a little difficult, as there’s no actual information beyond track titles.
Here’s the press release:
“This new release is a double disc collection of unreleased songs, “D-sides”, rarities and outtakes that span the bands history, from 1996 to 2012. The first disc is appropriately titled The D-Sides and includes the bands studio outtakes and unreleased tracks along with interviews that introduce the story behind each song. Disc #2 is called Strictly Dub and is a collection of dub versions of classic Big D tracks.”
Here’s the problem: those interview segments put the bands’ music into perspective, but by no means do any of the stories directly address the songs which follow. Hell, I have no idea where the interview segments even originate. From a radio show? from a phone call to the label? I don’t fucking know.
The tracks which have appeared on other albums — “LAX” is tagged as the “original recording” of the How It Goes cut, but I’m hard-pressed to figure out what differentiates it from the album cut. The same thing goes for “Digging in Your Nails,” originally from their Beijing to Boston split with Brain Failure.
I’m sure the liner notes make this all quite clear, but without them, this is just a mish-mash of tracks downloaded from the internet, and might as well have been put together by some fan site. I’ve pulled things from Mediafire with more notation than this.
The dub tracks are nice. A few cuts are a little thin for my tastes — “Baby Don’t Cry” and the two rehearsal cuts, “Come Along” and “These Dubbed Streets” don’t have that low-end necessary for a really great dub track, but the various iterations of “Strictly Rude” will have you nodding your head pretty quickly. Nothing that’ll blow your mind like an early King Tubby track or anything like that, but if you’re looking to chill after a night out, it’s well worth grabbing.