Rosy Overdrive’s Favorite Reissues and Compilations of 2022

Today, we’re closing out both Rosy Overdrive’s Year-End List season and 2022 as a whole with my favorite reissues and compilations from this year. As this list encompasses a fairly wide range of releases, it is unranked, unlike my Top Albums and Top EPs lists.

Here are links to stream this list on various services: Spotify, Tidal. To read about much more music beyond what’s on this list, check out the site directory, and if you’d like to support Rosy Overdrive, you can share this (or another) post, or donate here. Thank you for reading, and see you in 2023.

Balkans – Balkans

Release date: April 8th
Record label: Double Phantom
Genre: Garage rock, garage punk
Formats: Vinyl, CD, digital

2011’s Balkans was the only full-length ever made by the Atlanta group–singer/guitarist Frankie Broyles went on to play with both Monomania-era Deerhunter and Omni after their dissolution, and there are elements of Deerhunter’s retro pop rock side and Omni’s kinetic spaghetti guitar riffs on this record. Unlike either of those bands, though, Balkans presented it all in a straightforward garage rock package. The record offers up plenty of pleasing fastballs with tracks like “I Can’t Compete” and “Zebra Print”, but it also goes off-the-wall, as album closer “Violent Girls” demonstrates. The reissue comes with four bonus tracks, which are inessential but enjoyable–more importantly, they don’t take anything away from the original record, which still sounds incredibly fresh. (Read more)

Jon Brion – Meaningless

Release date: October 21st
Record label: Jealous Butcher
Genre: Power pop, singer-songwriter, pop rock
Formats: Vinyl, CD, digital

Like a lot of power pop fans, I’ve long regarded the sole solo album by Jon Brion (of The Grays, countless soundtrack scores, and notable production work for Fiona Apple and Aimee Mann, among others) to be a neglected and unfairly obscure gem of a record. Jealous Butcher’s vinyl reissue (well, issue, as it’s only ever been released on CD before) of Meaningless feels twenty years overdue, but the good news is these songs haven’t lost any power at all in the meantime. Songs like “I Believe She’s Lying” and “Ruin My Day” are pop standards, as far as I’m concerned–they (and Meaningless as a whole) wield a potent combination of incredibly catchy melodies, odd but perfectly-chosen musical choices reflecting Brion’s production work, and a lyrical bite that the record’s prettiness only serves to sharpen.

The Cat’s Miaow – Songs ‘94-’98

Release date: July 15th
Record label: World of Echo
Genre: Indie pop, twee
Formats: Vinyl, digital

The Cat’s Miaow were an indie pop quartet that came from Melbourne, Australia and released a steady stream of cassettes, EPs, and 7”s throughout most of the 1990s (coincidentally, the first record from the four members’ post-Cat’s Miaow band, Hydroplane, was also reissued this year). July’s Songs ‘94-’98 collection is made up of selections from the compilation appearances and singles that comprised the majority of the band’s output during this titular period. The resultant record is thirty-five minutes and eighteen songs’ worth of light, airy, twee indie pop that drifts along breezily and dreamily but not without offering up memorable melodies in the midst of crafting this feeling. Songs like the hypnotic “Hollow Inside” and snappy “Note on the Table” are the more typical pop songs, but the brief numbers like “Crying” also make their mark.

TJ Douglas – Lo 2.0

Release date: June 10th
Record label: Beach Plum Tapes
Genre: Indie folk
Formats: Cassette, digital

TJ Douglas’ Lo was initially self-released as a digital-only album in March 2020, and ran seventeen songs and nearly an hour long. Deciding that these songs were worthy of a wider release, Douglas chose ten of them (plus one new song) to re-release on cassette as Lo 2.0 with Beach Plum Tapes, and the result is an intimate-sounding but varied collection of indie rock and folk songwriting. Douglas wrote Lo while attending a seminary, training to become a hospital chaplain, and they view those songs as particularly confessional. Douglas’ lyrics, which frequently reference their faith and struggles with sobriety, are serviced well by this collection of music–although, to be clear, one doesn’t need to be grappling with either of those subjects to get something out of Lo 2.0. (Read more)

The Dream Syndicate – What Can I Say? No Regrets…Out of the Grey + Live, Demos, & Outtakes

Release date: January 14th
Record label: Fire
Genre: Alternative rock, psychedelic rock, Paisley Underground
Formats: CD, digital

Originally released in 1986, Out of the Grey was the first Dream Syndicate record not to feature key members Kendra Smith and Karl Precoda. While the band’s earlier albums split the difference between dreamy psychedelia and speedy desert rock and roll, Out of the Grey zeroes in on the latter, and finds a wide range within it to explore. The “rockers” no longer sound hurried and frantic; on the converse, The Dream Syndicate come off like a band with all the time in the world. On the heels of a long-overdue vinyl reissue of the original record last year, Fire Records has produced two discs’ worth of previously-unreleased bonus material to enhance the CD release of What Can I Say? No Regrets….; the 1985 live set that comprises the second CD in particular is a highlight of the extra tracks. (Read more)

Feeble Little Horse – Modern Tourism / Hayday

Release date: March 11th / October 25th 
Record label: Crafted Sounds / Saddle Creek / Unstable
Genre: Shoegaze, noise pop
Formats: Cassette, digital (Modern Tourism) / Vinyl, CD, cassette, digital (Hayday)

2021 was the year of the Feeble Little Horse; the band released both their debut EP and debut full-length that year, and as the Pittsburgh four-piece group have only grown in stature, both of them have seen reissues over the course of 2022. In March, Crafted Sounds put together an expanded cassette version of their Modern Tourism EP, which is a casual record of rough-around-the-edges lo-fi pop rock songs that the band recorded before vocalist Lydia Slocum joined the band. Slocum’s voice is just one of the many differences in the noisier and busier Hayday, which has been given a physical release by the band’s new home of Saddle Creek (co-released with Feeble Little Horse’s own label, Unstable). Even though the Clone High sample is now gone from highlight “Kennedy”, Hayday remains a compelling noise pop album that’s only grown on me. (Read more about Modern Tourism)

Go Sailor – Go Sailor

Release date: June 10th
Record label: Slumberland
Genre: Twee, indie pop, jangle pop
Formats: Vinyl, digital

Rose Melberg has long been known to me as one-third of Tiger Trap, whose sole self-titled album is my favorite twee record (and, hell, one of my favorite records, period), and is probably almost equally well-known to the world as half of The Softies. Those two groups would be enough for most musicians, but as fans of Melberg know, they’re just the tip of the iceberg–which Slumberland’s recent reissue of the Go Sailor compilation reminds us. The trio of Melberg, Paul Curran (Crimpshine), and Amy Linton (The Aislers Set) only lasted for three singles and a few compilation tracks–putting them all together, as this compilation does, reveals a fourteen-song record of sharp pop songs that is touched with jangly melancholy but injected with a spirited energy from Curran’s bass and Linton’s drumming. The vinyl is already sold out, but according to Slumberland, it will be available again next month.

Guided by Voices – Scalping the Guru

Release date: October 28th
Record label: GBV, Inc.
Genre: Lo-fi indie rock, 90s indie rock
Formats: Vinyl, CD, cassette, digital

Of the two “re-imagined” records made up of previously-released recordings that Robert Pollard put together this year, Guided by Voices’ Scalping the Guru is the crowd-pleaser. Comprised of lesser-known songs pulled from the band’s “classic era”, combining 1993-1994-era GBV EPs into a full-length creates something inarguably weirder than any of their records from that period, in a fascinating way. Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of “hits” here, including “Big School” from the previously-unavailable-digitally Static Airplane Jive (and the inclusion of the six songs from this EP justifies Scalping the Guru on its own). But the record as a whole feels slapdash and off-the-cuff–which, considering this was a time when Pollard could toss off something like “Indian Fables” in forty seconds, this isn’t a problem at all. 

Heavenly – Heavenly Vs. Satan

Release date: November 11th
Record label: Skep Wax
Genre: Twee, indie pop, jangle pop
Formats: Vinyl

Skep Wax (the label founded by Heavenly’s Amelia Fletcher and Robert Pursey) is planning to reissue all four Heavenly LPs on vinyl over the next two years, and it began with their re-pressing of 1991’s Heavenly Vs. Satan, thirty years and change from its initial release on Sarah. Although Heavenly Vs. Satan would eventually be released in the United States on K Records, and Calvin Johnson would sing on one of the band’s later releases, Heavenly always fell more on the “stately” side of twee music than their American counterparts’ ramshackle nature. The band’s steady rhythm section and bright, frequently arpeggiated guitar playing already made up a firm foundation, even as their punk influences subtly but notably poke out on a few of these tracks. (Read more)

Krill – Alam No Hris

Release date: November 18th
Record label: Sipsman/Sren
Genre: Garage rock, lo-fi indie rock, post-punk
Formats: Vinyl, digital

Krill’s 2012 debut record, Alam No Hris, is rougher-around-the-edges than their most popular record, 2013’s Lucky Leaves–to say nothing of how it compares to their stretched-out, refined 2015 swan song A Distant Fist Unclenching. Although Krill would half-heartedly attempt to tame their sound over the years, the best parts are already present in Alam No Hris–punchy, jerky post-punk-y garage rock unleashed along with the unmistakable vocals of Jonah Furman. Furman offers plenty of classic Krill lyrical moments throughout Alam No Hris, as well–his muttering of “When did we wear a baseball cap?” in “Piranha Girl” keeps sticking with me, and “Self-Hate Will Be the Death of Youth Culture” is the ad nauseam mantra Krill song of the record.

The Loud Family and Anton Barbeau – What If It Works?

Release date: March 25th
Record label: Omnivore
Genre: Power pop, psych pop
Formats: CD, digital

After reissuing the entire Game Theory catalog, Omnivore’s next Scott Miller-related release is a bit more off the beaten path, but 2006’s What If It Works? is anything but a minor work for both Miller and his co-conspirator Anton Barbeau. Coming some time after The Loud Family ceased being a full-time band, Miller and Barbeau made a casual record together comprised of a few spirited covers, reliably sturdy pop songs from the dependable Barbeau, and some of Miller’s most straightforward pop songwriting since the early days of Game Theory. Their opening version of “Rocks Off” is probably one of the most fun recordings I’ve heard, well, ever, “Total Mass Destruction” is as good a bummer pop song as Miller ever wrote, and the record’s two “bonus tracks” (Barbeau’s bonkers “I’ve Been Craving Lately” and Miller’s six-minute trip “Don’t Bother Me While I’m Living Forever”) pull out new tricks.

Mal Devisa – Kiid

Release date: January 26th
Record label: Topshelf
Genre: Lo-fi indie rock, alt-R&B
Formats: Vinyl, CD, cassette digital

Deja Carr has been releasing music independently as Mal Devisa fairly consistently for the past few years–her mix of lo-fi indie rock with rap and R&B has flown somewhat under the radar, but she has a following, which will hopefully only grow after signing to Topshelf Records this year. Topshelf digitally distributed some of Carr’s back catalog, and also released one of her most beloved records, 2016’s Kiid, physically. Kiid remains a compelling album-length look at a singular talent several years later. Carr’s indie rock balladry is on full display on the album–songs like “Fire”, “Sea of Limbs”, “Forget That I”, and “Live Again” grab one’s attention using little more than Carr’s voice and minimal guitar playing–and on the flipside, Carr just as deftly turns out noisier fare like “Fat” and “Dominatrix”, which pull from both punk rock and hip-hop.

Massage – Oh Boy

Release date: March 11th
Record label: Mt. St. Mtn.
Genre: Jangle pop, post-punk, college rock
Formats: Vinyl, digital

Originally released in 2018 and recently re-pressed by Mt.St.Mtn., Oh Boy (and, by extension, the band Massage itself) is the product of a group of musically-inclined acquaintances congealing into an actual band, and it sounds like it. The Los Angeles five-piece group come off as excited about their ideas, how they’re going to present them, and who they’re presenting them with throughout their debut full-length. The upbeat songs sound like lost college rock singles, even as they’re shot through with Massage’s “rainy day” side—and conversely, there’s a clarity in the slower songs that works to bridge the gap. Oh Boy is probably the Massage record that is least interested in deliberately cultivating a single mood throughout, but they were already doing it. (Read more)

Ovens – Ovens

Release date: December 2nd
Record label: Tankcrimes
Genre: Power pop, psych pop, alt-rock, lo-fi indie rock
Formats: Vinyl, digital

San Francisco’s Tony Molina has made a name for himself with a solo discography full of fuzzy power pop and psych pop in extremely short, digestible servings. Effectively every alley that Molina would eventually wander down in his solo records he began exploring in his previous band, Ovens, as this self-titled record (originally released on CD in 2009) demonstrates over 44 songs and an hour’s worth of strong guitar pop. Ovens has two main modes that they meld together eagerly on their only release: loud and fuzzy alt-rock  that evokes Weezer and Dinosaur Jr. with its triumphant guitar heroics, and an enthusiastic, jaunty acoustic pop sound that reminds me of early Of Montreal. More than an interesting early artifact, there are more than enough gems on Ovens to make this as key a part of Molina’s oeuvre as anything he’s released since. (Read more)

Pere Ubu – Nuke the Whales 2006-2014

Release date: April 1st
Record label: Fire
Genre: Post-punk, art punk, experimental rock
Formats: Vinyl, digital

Nuke the Whales 2006-2014 is the fifth in Fire Recordings’ series of box sets compiling the vital work of Cleveland’s Pere Ubu, an anthology that has provided hours of proof that the band has a lot more to offer than a handful of early punk rock-era “hits”. The material on Nuke the Whales covers an era of Pere Ubu that had never been my favorite, but I’m happy to report that this remixed and remastered reissue makes an excellent case for these four albums. The warped garage rock of 2006’s Why I LUV Women and the hard-hitting, percussive experimental rock of 2014’s Carnival of Souls are the immediate highlights (well, about as “immediate” as this kind of music can be), and 2013’s The Lady from Shanghai now strikes me as hypnotic and transfixing in a way that it hadn’t in its initial form. Aside from perhaps 2009’s Long Live Père Ubu, one doesn’t have to be a hardcore fan to appreciate these records–anyone who’s been intrigued and subsequently disappointed by a new buzz band that’s “transforming rock music” will find what they’re looking for here. (Read more)

Robert Pollard – Our Gaze

Release date: May 24th
Record label: GBV, Inc.
Genre: Power pop, experimental rock, 90s indie rock
Formats: Vinyl, CD, digital

Our Gaze is a compilation of selections from two frequently-overlooked Robert Pollard solo records, 2007’s Standard Gargoyle Decisions and Coast to Coast Carpet of Love. On the one hand, both of those albums are good enough to stand on their own, and culling the “best” from both of them leaves out many worthy songs (“Slow Hamilton”, anyone?). But I have to judge Our Gaze as the reissue that it is, rather than the one I’d prefer it to be–and by that metric, it’s an incredibly strong record. Most of Coast to Coast Carpet of Love’s strongest pop songs are here (“Miles Under the Skin”, “Rud Fins”, “Current Desperation (Angels Speak of Nothing)”), and the songs pulled from Standard Gargoyle Decisions, always seen as one of Pollard’s more “difficult” solo albums, shine especially in this new context: multi-part prog-garage tracks like “Pill Gone Girl”, “Hero Blows the Revolution”, and “Folded Claws” feel like early runs at what the current lineup of Guided by Voices has been doing lately.

The Sonora Pine – II 

Release date: November 11th
Record label: Husky Pants/Touch & Go
Genre: Slowcore, 90s indie rock, post-rock
Formats: Vinyl, digital

The Sonora Pine originated in 1995 from half of Louisville post-rock group Rodan’s final lineup, but singer/guitarist Tara Jane O’Neil and drummer Kevin Coultras (along with violinist Samara Lubelski) veered hard away from the occasionally scorching post-hardcore side of their previous band and instead probed the empty spaces in between. This especially held true on their second and final record, which has been remastered and re-pressed by Touch & Go (whose imprint Quarterstick initially released it) and Husky Pants Records for its twenty-fifth anniversary. O’Neil had already amassed an incredible discography, but her guitar playing on II feels like a defining moment–these songs stretch themselves out confidently, rising and falling while her guitar and Lubelski’s violin twist around each other. (Read more)

T54 – Drone Attacks

Release date: September 30th
Record label: Ally
Genre: Noise pop, shoegaze, fuzz rock
Formats: Vinyl, digital

Christchurch, New Zealand’s Joe Sampson is best-known to me as a member of the Salad Boys (along with, at various points, Brian Feary and James Sullivan from Jim Nothing, and Ben Woods). Before that group, however, he led the loud shoegaze/noise pop trio T54, whose 2011 EP Drone Attacks has recently been given an expanded and remastered reissue from Ally Records. The bonus material contained in the new version of Drone Attacks turns a six-song, 25-minute EP into twenty tracks and over an hour in length. The original songs, from the massive pop hooks of “Julie K” to the crunchy, speedy “CR Model”, still thunder satisfyingly, and among the extra material, the live-in-studio recordings show that T54 could still make just as much noise in real time.

Tall Dwarfs – Unravelled: 1981-2002

Release date: August 19th
Record label: Merge
Genre: Lo-fi indie rock, experimental rock, indie pop
Formats: Vinyl, CD, digital

While part of me wishes Unravelled: 1981-2002 was comprehensive, the rest of me knows how unfeasible that is with the amount of material the Tall Dwarfs released over their twenty year career, and it’s hard to find fault with the breadth of the 55-song, 2.5 hour compilation. One can poke their head into any part of Unravelled: 1981-2002 and find lo-fi pop gems from the incomparable New Zealand duo: as it’s chronological, all of my favorite “classic” Tall Dwarfs songs show up early on (“Nothing’s Going to Happen”, “Crush”, “All My Hollowness to You”), but perhaps an even neater trick that the compilation pulls is diving into the lesser-discussed later years of the band and coming out with some brilliant songs that I’d heard maybe once before, if ever, and never properly appreciated (“Time to Wait”, “Gluey, Gluey”, “Room to Breathe”).

Marvin Tate’s D-Settlement – Marvin Tate’s D-Settlement

Release date: November 4th
Record label: American Dreams
Genre: Funk, R&B, experimental rock, soul
Formats: Vinyl, CD, digital

From the late 1990s to the early 2000s, Chicago poet, artist, and singer-songwriter Marvin Tate was the bandleader of The D-Settlement, a massive group that adorned Tate’s writing with everything from funk and rock to soul and reggae over three records, all the while remaining in relative obscurity. American Dreams Records has taken up the task of making their discography available to a wider audience–an endeavor that feels overdue by reputation alone, and only backed up by the music contained therein. The barebones but still adventurous Partly Cloudy, the full-band realization of The Minstrel Show, and the stretched-out, jammy swan song American Icons are all strong records in their own right, and taken as a whole, make a strong case for The D-Settlement as underground music champions. (Read more)

Thanks for Coming – You Haven’t Missed Much

Release date: December 16th
Record label: Danger Collective
Genre: Lo-fi indie rock, bedroom pop, singer-songwriter, indie folk
Formats: Cassette, digital

Rachel Brown is most famous as half of Brooklyn weird pop duo Water from Your Eyes, but over the past decade, they’ve also amassed a huge solo discography under the name Thanks for Coming. There are about eighty Thanks for Coming releases on Brown’s Bandcamp page, so compiling an album’s length of them on a single “best-of” cassette, as Brown and Danger Collective have done with You Haven’t Missed Much, seems like a great way to introduce one’s self into this particular world. The songs on You Haven’t Missed Much range from demos recorded by Brown solo to more fleshed-out tunes featuring contributions from Lily Konigsberg, Mike Kolb, and their Water from Your Eyes bandmate Nate Amos, but all fourteen of them display Brown’s talents as a songwriter and lyricist (even though my personal favorite Thanks for Coming song, “Directions”, isn’t included).

The Trypes – Music for Neighbors

Release date: March 18th
Record label: Pravda
Genre: Folk rock, psychedelia
Formats: Vinyl, CD, digital

The Trypes’ Music for Neighbors hits both subcategories of this particular list, as it’s a reissue of a compilation. Hailing from Haledon, New Jersey, The Trypes are forever linked to their hometown’s most famous export, The Feelies–a band with whom The Trypes shared several members. The original Music for Neighbors came out in 2012, and collected the entirety of their mid-1980s studio recordings. The Trypes pushed their loosely college/folk rock-based sound to psychedelic and exploratory extremes, as everything from the six-minute “(From the) Morning Glories” to the weird minimalism of “Belmont Girl Is Mad at Me” to two blissed-out Beatles covers demonstrates. Pravda Records’ reissue adds plenty of CD and digital-only bonus tracks, including two brand-new Trypes songs which feel right at home here.

Various – Big, Big Wave

Release date: April 25th
Record label: Feral Kid
Genre: Garage punk, hardcore punk, post-punk
Formats: Vinyl, digital

I love a good various-artist, all-original-tunes compilation, and Feral Kid Records has served up a great one with Big, Big Wave, a survey of Hattiesburg, Mississippi’s surprisingly (or, perhaps not so, given the Magnolia State’s rich music history) fertile garage rock and punk scene. Biff Bifaro, John Angelo, and John Toohill, blown away by a host of Hattiesburg bands on previous tour stops, recorded this entire seventeen-song compilation over the course of one evening, and there’s more than enough here to show why they were inspired to do so. Judy and the Jerks, the most famous band on the compilation, are well-represented with two wild animal-themed punk tunes, but Big, Big Wave also offers up everything from fuzzy southern garage punk (“J Bird”, Ded Jewels) to 80s new wave (“Shield”, Control Room”) to lumbering blues rock (“Golden Zeppelin”, Stellatone).

Wire – Not About to Die (Studio Demos 1977-1978)

Release date: June 24th
Record label: Pinkflag
Genre: Post-punk, art punk
Formats: Vinyl, CD, digital

As Wire seem to get slightly more comfortable with looking back a little bit on their past, 2022 saw the formal release of Not About to Die (Studio Demos 1977-1978), a widely-bootlegged collection of early Wire recordings that serves as a wonderful companion to (and, perhaps, in its own way, equal of) the band’s first three records. The first half of Not About to Die in particular is Wire as a curious punk band, bashing out songs that would either mutate on later recordings or become forgotten–songs like “Oh No Not So (Save the Bullet)” and “Love Ain’t Polite” are brief shots of poppy punk that feature a lot of Pink Flag’s touchstones yet feel like a different path than the one the band eventually went down. Not About to Die is, as a record of demos, stripped-down throughout, but signs of the massive leaps Wire were about to take in a short amount of time were already there; discography cornerstones like “Being Sucked in Again” and “I Should Have Known Better” are already present, basically in their final shapes.

Also notable:

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