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The Complete Recordings

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Album Review

It's not often one gets to sample a watershed band's entire musical output on a single CD (Minor Threat's Complete Discography being the ultimate example), but that is exactly the case with this collection by Louisville, KY's National Acrobat. Totaling a colossal 30 tracks, 2004's TNA: The Complete Recordings squeezes all four of the group's official releases: 2000's Can't Stop Casper Adams, 1999's It's Nothing Personal, 2000's cheekily named The National Acrobat, for All Practical Purposes, Is Dead, and 1999's eponymous debut, as well as four unreleased and compilation cuts (in that order) into its 77 minutes. Phew! And yes, in case you're wondering, the group's varied hardcore assault (at times, though they probably wouldn't admit it, verging on sludge metal — as seen on the Cavity-inspired "Ceramic Ages" and "I'm a Gine") is inventive and lyrically literate enough to sustain one's attention throughout. And you really can't complain about getting everything — I mean, c'mon! Recommended even before you realize there's a goat-and-pentagram drawing concealed beneath the CD tray.

Biography

Formed: 1998 in Louisville, KY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

The National Acrobat formed in late 1998 around primary songwriter and guitarist Evan Patterson, guitarist Robby Scott, bassist Ty Kreft, vocalist Casper Adams, and Phil Stosberg, one-time drummer for Kentucky straight-edge flag-wavers Onslaught. Taking their influences from D.C. punk and hardcore, contemporary noisecore acts like Deadguy, and more traditional metal and adding odd time signatures and Adams' bizarre lyrics, the band quickly earned a reputation for their engaging, humorous, and often...
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The Complete Recordings, The National Acrobat
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