The Dancing Years is not just a bad compilation but a downright deceptive one.
From the outside, it appears to contain some of Shriekback's best songs, including hard-to-find ones like "Nerve" and "Petulant." It's not until you actually play it that you realize you've paid for re-recorded versions that put the songs through a brutal meat grinder, replacing the band's top-notch playing with simplistic programmed riffs and their innovative rhythms with cliched techno beats. The Dancing Years is apparently the misbegotten brainchild of Barry Andrews, who must have been looking for an excuse to replace Carl Marsh's vocals on the older songs with his own; there is no other reason for him to muck about with a perfectly good song like "My Spine (Is the Bass Line)."A few easily obtainable album tracks are thrown in for good measure, along with a couple of "alternate" mixes that are indistinguishable from the originals. The only intriguing musical moments here are the long version of "Fish Below the Ice" -- which is also on the far superior The Best of Shriekback Vol. 2: Evolution -- and some live tracks from 1987 that include a lengthy, swirling "Feelers" and a delicate "Faded Flowers." Other than that, all this compilation has to recommend it is a handy diagram that lists the various Shriekback lineups and shows their connection to other bands, including the Belle Stars, 3 Mustaphas 3, P.I.L., and Richard Hell & the Voidoids.
|My Spine (Is the Bassline) / Shriekback||Shriekback||5:10|
|Nerve / Shriekback||Shriekback||4:03|
|White Out / Himsa / Shriekback||Shriekback||4:18|
|Nemesis / Shriekback||Shriekback||6:04|
|Fish Below the Ice / Shriekback||Shriekback||5:51|
|Malaria / Shriekback||Shriekback||4:27|
|Feelers / Shriekback||Shriekback||6:47|
|Petulant / Shriekback||Shriekback||4:37|
|Deeply Lined Up / Sound Marines / Shriekback||Shriekback||7:07|
|Everything That Rises Must Converge / Shriekback||Shriekback||4:02|
|Shark Walk / Shriekback||Shriekback||3:53|
|Suck / Shriekback||Shriekback||4:54|
|Hammerheads / Shriekback||Shriekback||5:23|
|Faded Flowers / Shriekback||Shriekback||3:56|