The Pastels - Suck On The Pastels (1988)

Suck on the Pastels compiles a number of singles released by the band from 1983-1985, as well as a three-song BBC session from 1984. In the liner notes, Stephan Pastel alludes to the general apathy of the band throughout this period, also explaining the general poor recording conditions in which most of these songs were birthed. The band's laconic tendencies were matched by their arrogant tendencies ("We thought we were God," notes Pastel in the liners), so there's definite attitude and substance, albeit in patchy doses. The results are rather uneven, but there are some moments of undeniable greatness. The seven-minute drone pop of "Baby Honey" remains one of Creation's earliest gems, mixing the Byrds, the Velvet Underground, detached vocals, and a lazy near-funk rhythm in the best possible way. "Couldn't Care Less" and "I'm Alright With You" also rate with the Pastels' finest. The rhythm box and childish lyrics to "I Wonder Why" provide the perfect backdrop to a rumpus room filled with joyous toddlers. The BBC session is scattered throughout the disc, showing what the band is capable of in proper working conditions. Suck On isn't the first place to go for the Pastels, but it's a decent snapshot of their youthful beginnings.

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