The La's - Callin' All
The La’s were a genuine pre-Britpop phenomenon, contemporaries of the Mondays and Roses they slunk out of Liverpool with a mesmerising album of incredible, perfectly crafted Merseybeat jangle pop. Expectations were understandably sky high, for any band that could come up with the effortless beauty of ‘There She Goes’ would surely have some mileage wouldn't they? Britain waited while the La’s mithered; apparently struck dumb by their own success they were unable to even contemplate how to follow up on virtual perfection. Eventually Britain got tired of waiting, their attention caught by Oasis and so the La’s inflicted the ultimate punishment on the nation: Cast. It is with some astonishment then that we find that, from out of nowhere, a four disc box set has been compiled, featuring singles, out-takes, radio sessions and live sets. What it ultimately reveals is that there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Callin’ All may well represent a completists dream package but for the rest of us it merely highlights that their debut album contained everything that they had to offer. The live sets are patchy, highlighting Mavers’ Ian Brown like inability to hit a note outside of the studio and a slapdash approach which allowed out-of-tune guitars to be recorded and released. How many times can you stand to hear ‘Timeless Melody’ butchered? My threshold is twice. I’m out.