The past couple for years have been a virtual nirvana for fans of the brilliant, yet short-live ‘90s Power Pop band Jellyfish. Despite only having only released two proper studio albums, Omnivore Records has been slowly putting out a slew of gems from the California band. It started by releasing both Bellybutton and Spilt Milk on vinyl, followed by a trio of never before released records: Live at Bogart’s, Stack-A-Tracks and Radio Jellyfish. Aside from announcing a full reunion, these releases are simply manna from heaven.
Omnivore continues to raid the vaults with the deluxe re-release of the band’s two studio albums, tacking on a slew of demos and live tracks adding a second disc of material to each release. While not ever track added on is exactly album-ready, there are plenty of fantastic ones here that could have easily stood their own against songs that made the records. “Ignorance is Bliss” is charmingly goofy, but pretty damn infectious, while “Running for Our Lives” is better than many of the tracks that made the cut for Bellybutton or Spilt Milk. It says a lot about the band’s chops when even their leftovers are worth tracking down and holding on to.
It’s also worth calling out the band’s creative covers; their take on The Archie’s saccharine “Sugar and Spice” takes all of the guilt out of a novelty song guilty pleasure and simply transforms it into a great Power Pop nugget. They also turn in a truly inspired take on Harry Nilsson’s “Think About Your Troubles,” the last studio recording the band made.
Aside from reuniting the band, Omnivore has done just about everything else to make life a little sweeter for Jellyfish fans.
Jellyfish – Bellybutton and Spilt Milk [Deluxe Reissues]; 2 CDS each/Omnivore Recordings/2015