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Nerve Damage
November 2004
Released: 2004, Century Media
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

It seems a bit premature for a band like this to have a double compilation but seeing as it’s the bands 10 year anniversary or so it makes sense. I’m not a huge Skinlab fan but this is a pretty sweet package. It has 34 tracks over two discs and a video for ‘Losing All’. It includes the Suffer EP and the Eyesore EP, 10 demos tracks, 7 live tracks, a few remixes, cover tines, edits and two new tracks. Talk about value for the fan!

The one thing that does annoy me is that the label in the past has put out so-called ‘rare’ EP’s that are limited edition and hand numbered and so on…’never to be seen again!. Well, just like the Iced Earth Melancholy EP, I go get the rare, hand-numbered Eyesore EP and a few years later the same EP appears here. I understand the fans who don’t have the EP want to hear it but it kind of hypocritical of the label. I’m glad more people get to hear it now.

The package is quite downplayed in terms of design, mostly grey, black and white but there are many, many colour photos. The thing I really like is the track-by-track liner notes. I always appreciate when a band does this as it gives us a little interesting insight into the songs and brings them closer to home perhaps.

The quality of the live tracks are pretty decent all drawn from a festival they did in the Bay Area and they rip through a fairly inspired set of some of their better known songs. The demos are well…demos. I’ve never been a big fan of demo tracks but die-hard fans will eat it up. Remixes…pass. Remixes are for techno bands. The two new tracks were done after the Revolting Room sessions are heavier, more intense than in the previous years.

You’ll notice I didn’t spend an enormous amount of time in this review discussing the actual music. Since this is a collection of stuff from an established band with a solid fan-base and good history it really is directed at fans and collectors perhaps. For those same fans I would give this an additional mark, 4.5 out of five as it is a killer package. I am admittedly a casual fan so for me a collection of remixes and demos of tracks that I wasn’t in love with the first time around, it gets the grade that reflects admiration, and enjoyment and respect but not worshiping praise.
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