Often referred to as the archetypal English band, The Monochrome Set are often ignored as big players in the post-punk boom of the early 80's. Their first few singles and album were magnificent; 'He's Frank (Slight Return)', 'Eine Symphonie Des Grauens' and their own epomymous theme tune were perfect, exhilarating records that featured witty, ironic lyrics and fast but melodic guitars, rather like Josef K but with a sense of humour. The main reason for their lack of success would appear to be their lack of heart; Bid's lead vocals are the definition of lugubrious which can only have served to isolate the casual listener. The mistake of this compilation is that the chronological running order means that all the best moments are featured at the start and thereafter, despite many bright moments ('The Jet Set Junta', 'The Mating Game') it's hard not to be disappointed. Oddly, they even managed to find some heart in their records on the genuinely affecting 'Her Pain' and 'Up' from the mid-80s but whilst none of their later material from the 90's was embarrassing as such, a few of the selections here (jagged guitars replaced by country twang) only serve to show how jaded they sound compared to those classic early years even though their wit remained intact right to the end. There are quite a few compilations which highlight their better moments more but this collection dutifully represents key tracks from the whole story.