Recent lost recordings by the late Billy Mackenzie proved that he was more prolific than people had imagined but also demonstrated - although his later work was never less than respectable - they lacked the spark and imagination of the early work of The Associates. It can be no coincidence that at this time his songwriting partner was Alan Rankine; a kindred spirit in terms of experimental but deeply passionate pop music that concetrated on the euphoria as well as the melancholy. With 'Sulk' finally reissued a few years ago, the debut record now gets the overdue CD revamp. Less flamboyant than 'Sulk', 'The Affectionate Punch' is more in keeping with the post-punk times (more guitar, less keyboards) but has aged extremely well. There's a lovely contrast between the intense, wired pop of 'Would I... Bounce Back' and the poignant hand-wringing of 'Deeply Concerned'. Special mention is also deserved for the pretty guitar textures of 'Logan Time' and the macabre 'Paper House'; both blessed with unusual, timeless melodies and mysterious lyricism. Truly there has never been anyone like them, before or since.