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Various - Officiel Swiss Kult Hits (CSR)

Ah Switzerland, the home of the Toblerone, the Swiss army knife and, of course, leather trousers. You could be forgiven for thinking that music by-passed this snowcapped country as their contribution to the world scene to date has been, to be generous, minimal. Yet here we have a compilation celebrating the great cult classics from Switzerland's golden era - the Eighties?

Okay... I'd never heard of any of these bands before either, but don't let that put you off having a listen. If sparkly eighties pop/rock is your thing then you will no doubt love this. Opener 'Things I saw today' sounds surprisingly like the Buffy theme, but it is with Hungry For What that the songs start actually sounding good. Their three-cord punk attack stands out among the weak contenders. Surprisingly, some of this is good (April could be relevant today with their Bjork meets Dido for coffee-table type sound), but there are a lot of fillers. Look no further than the Stephan Eicher and Lilliputs contributions.

Every now and then you hear a burst of something that sounds good, but it is fairly easy to pick out the influences. There is a lack of originality on show here and most songs come out sounding like a second-rate Duran Duran, or even a second-rate Human League, if you can imagine such a thing. Why this compilation was released is beyond me. It really should have been left buried in a vault in Switzerland - in the Eighties.

Ken McGrath

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