20 golden showers

The Armitage Shanks made some of the loudest, nastiest garage punk in the U.K. during the '90s. Falling under the wing of Billy Childish, the group recorded singles for Damaged Goods, Vinyl Japan, Little Teddy, Wild Wild, Sympathy for the Record Industry, and Hangman's Daughter as well as five albums. 25 Golden Showers collects tracks from their singles and is a no-holds blast of noise and attitude. Along with their own singles, also included are their records backing Billy Childish (the Shirts Off EP) and Headcoatee Kyra Rubella on wild covers of Siouxsie & the Banshees' "Love in a Void" and the Buzzcocks' "Orgasm Addict." Their own singles are uniformly loud and obnoxious and sure to knock the feather off your cap. The best tracks are their snarky cover of Gary Numan's "Are 'Friends' Electric?," the sarcastic "Thank You," the angry "Punk Tune," "Dutch Courage" (which features an incredibly annoying organ), and the closest thing they have to a love song, "You're Here I'm Hooked You're Gone." As a document of what made the band so good, this is a perfect collection. The Shanks are the like a loud cousin who shows up at Christmas, drinks all the egg nog, p**ses on the cat, and throws up under the tree. Amusing in small doses and from a distance. If you are a paid-up member of the cult of Childish, you know you need it. Even if you aren't, the band provides an unschooled, raw antidote to the glossy, corporate punk running rampant in the early 2000s.

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