Sometimes, What's The Difference? Redux

Track Star

Silver Girl Records, 2021

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


The San Francisco outfit Track Star survived over 10 years together, and during that time they released a couple of well received albums, and plenty of EPs, splits and singles. This double LP assembles rare and unreleased tracks from the band's prolific existence for people like myself to familiarize ourselves with this criminally overlooked trio. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Bad Time,” from their 1995 10” Sometimes, What’s The Difference on the Silver Girl label, opens the listen with jangly lo-fi moments as well as dense fuzz bouts that border on metal, creating a busy climate. Further on, “True Crime,” also from the 10”, allows for much calmer areas of fluid and ’90s influenced indie-rock that would make Lou Barlow smile.

While the first half of the listen consists of the remainder of that 1995 10”, “No Big Deal” (from their debut 7”) opens the lesser-known tracks with hypnotic, hazy sounds that injects brief blasts of thundering and abrasive, chaotic rock. “Racing Fan,” a previously unreleased tune, then buzzes with thick alt-rock amid the calm textures, and “Payback” offers us one minute of charged and buzzing garage rock nods from their Sexacute cassette.

Moving onto Side 4, “Cashed Out” (from the split with Kid Dynamo) emits a fuzzed out and noisy rocker that might remind you of Unwound at 45 RPMs, and “The View From Space” moves with a gentle, breathy and melodic approach from their Removable Parts 7”. “Green To Gold” exits the listen with one of their last songs recorded (from The Chord 7”), and it might remind you of artists like Owen or Kevin Devine with its singer-songwriter appeal.

A truly special way to commemorate a group who really should have been our favorite band in the ’90s, the LP version is a gatefold package with a download code, and the CD is a six-panel Digipack that's full of great songs that embrace all that we loved about ’90s rock.

Rating: A-

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