Best-of for Liverpool post-punks

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The Wild Swans – Incandescent

Possibly the last post-punk obscurity to bid for a belated 15 minutes, The Wild Swans were more beautifully obscure than most. A perfect pop career was fashioned by recording one towering single (1982’s “The Revolutionary Spirit” which somehow managed to marry Phil Spector to Lord Byron), before they fell frantically apart. Thus denying themselves the chance to join fellow messy beat Liverpool poets (Echo, Teardrops, Wah!) in leading the fight against new-romantic shallowness with an intensely Northern form of doomed romanticism. This 23-track anthology finally confirms their status as one of the era’s great lost bands, with radio sessions and live recordings adding to their meagre studio output. Two decades on, their huge ambition is waiting to be applauded. So clap until your hands callus. Dizzying, visionary stuff.