Austin-to-L.A. transplants the Textones were one of the few post-new wave "roots rock" bands of the mid-'80s to deserve the appellation. (Unfortunately, they're mostly remembered, if at all, only as the band Kathy Valentine left to join the Go-Go's.) Unlike the terribly overrated Lone Justice or the beer salesmen in the Long Ryders or the Del Fuegos, Carla Olson and company came off like a punkier version of the Gram Parsons-era Byrds, with a poppy edge on unexpected covers like the Searchers' "Silver" and Neil Sedaka's "Keep a Walkin'." Although Olson ditched the Textones name fairly early in her career, her smoky voice (think Lucinda Williams with Janis Joplin's accent) and proto-alt-country mentality remain constant through this well-chosen, reverse-chronology collection. Pay particular attention to the pair of remixed tracks from 1993's Within an Ace, which sound worlds better now. This album far surpasses the earlier Carla Olson best-of, 1995's A Wave of the Hand.
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