Across the Border: Was Bleibt (The Best of Across the Border, 1991-2002)

This two-disc set is the swan song for one of Germany’s most talented folk- punk outfits, Across the Border. Featuring an intense rhythm section, AtB derives most of their melody from accordion and fiddle with electric guitar tastefully complimenting their sound when needed. This collection judiciously samples their many releases from 1995’s HAG SONGS through 2000’s SHORT SONGS, LONG FACES. The most frequently represented album (with eight tracks) is CRUSTY FOLK MUSIC FOR SMELLY PEOPLE, which is no surprise because it is arguably their finest effort. Additionally, several previously unreleased tracks are included, the finest being “Glad to Know” and “Chasing the Tail.” The only obvious omission to this retrospective, in my opinion, is their fiery rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer.” If you enjoy melodic folk-punk coupled with issues oriented lyrics a la The Levellers or Oysterband, Across the Border will be to your liking.

March 2004

Review By Dave Sleger

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