It’s almost always interesting to hear the previous band people where in before they got famous. Take for instance Tarkio, Colin Meloy’s Montana-based band he was in before The Decemberists, which sounded like a wry, literate-country act and showed only vague signs of the proggy band that would make him famous. Or, Lifter Puller — the ashes of which, Craig Finn and Tad Kubler used to go on and start The Hold Steady.
Well, if you’ve never listened to Lifter Puller now’s your chance as their catalog of albums is getting the reissue treatment: “Even The Hold Steady hasn’t made anything quite like 2000’sFiestas + Fiascos, an album-length narrative about a group of druggy nightlifers. Finn’s endlessly unwinding wordplay invites, and stands up to, any number of listens. Lifter Puller’s breakup means that the album never got a real follow-up, but the singles and rarities on Slips Backwards offer a surprisingly coherent substitute. The revelation is a superior B-side version of Half Dead’s “Nassau Coliseum,” which nightmarishly details both the narrator’s breakup and a Long Island Grateful Dead show that ends in police brutality. Of course—Lifter Puller was always full of surprises.”