I could easily be writing this review about any of the band's albums since this IS a greatest hits collection. Of the band's three albums of original material here's the breakdown: Walking on A Thin Line is by far their strongest and best material. The second disc, Don't Give Me Names is also an exceptionally strong album that you can play from start to finish. Only their first disc, Proud Like A God, has some relative clunkers on it. That disc does have two of their most famous tracks (Lords of the Boards and Open Your Eyes...which was a minor radio success in the U.S. in 1997). Forgive the uneveness of the first disc due to youthful experimentation and an attempt at four very different musical personalities trying to make something they could all agree on. This is an underappreciated and definitely overlooked band in America. Only their first disc is available via a U.S. distribution company. Don't Give Me Name was yanked by RCA in America on the eve of the distribution citing the "don't hear a single" nonsense. Let's not forget that the band, under contract with BMG in the rest of the world, had something like four or five hits of that album in Europe and won Mtv Europe awards etc. So, that's really a bunch of BS. This band was lost in the shuffle of the big companies like RCA having to restructure and clean administrative house. This wasn't "the band" to new execs who had no relationship with them and they were told to try again with the next album. That would be the third and best CD which was hugely successful once again in Germany and certain European markets. But still no release here. How do I know all this? Well, I was a journalist working for a major rock magazine at the time Don't Give Me Names came out and am a big supporter of the band. I have no doubt that if even half the budget being spent on promoting Lacuna Coil (whom I also like, though a very different band) or the crap like Nightwish and Evanescence, Guano Apes would definitely had a solid market over here with several radio hits. They did sell 150,000 units of the first disc here with almost zero press and publicity budget. That means with a little effort, the band could have worked here. I was trying to push this band in that female void after No Doubt basically broke up. The record companies wouldn't hear of it...then suddenly Evanescence breaks and it's a whole different story. Too bad the band was well on its way to breaking up at that point. I flew over to see their farewell tour in Germany in Feb. 2005. Absolutely great people with still more to say as a band musically, but the relationships between Sandra and the band are probably not mendable at this time. Who's to say what could happen if Sandra's new CD (due out later this year 2006) flops, but honestly, I am not expecting it to. She told me personally her album will be a rock album. It will be interesting to see what her vision is. She truly is a dynamic performer with the best female ROCK voice I've ever heard. She is hard to define as she candle most any style, but when she let's it go, she's ferocious! I would love to hear some new guitar music from Henning (guitarist), but nothing is on the horizon seriously at this time.
If you're a fan of early Incubus, Red Hot Chili Peppers with some 80's type melodies infused with seriously rocking riffs spread over with serious female vocals, this is the band for you. They are fun and talented, somewhat twisted and quirky. Think of a much more fun and heavier No Doubt. I have never met anyone I've played them for that said they didn't like them, and that's pretty impressive. Too bad the U.S. record companies dropped the ball on this one. And shame on BMG too for forcing the band to find U.S. distribution deals outside of BMG rather than partnering with Sony (remember the merger a few years back) at the time of the third album to try again in the States with this band...then again...you've got to want it too. A starcrossed band with plenty to still offer. Start with this one and work your way back. Enjoy!