Kleenex/Liliput's tunes offered a wealth of natural resources -- an inventive bass line here, a daring vocal overlap there, jagged and persistent riffs throughout -- that everyone from Elastica to Sleater-Kinney has obviously mined. One of the few groups able to make arty music irresistible and fun, Kleenex/Liliput balances the intimidating complexity of its guitar and bass interactions with nonsensical chants and call-and-response oohs, ahhs and whoops. Kleenex's earliest songs, perky short-lived jaunts powered by urgent guitars and emotive vocals, deliver simple thrills; the group gathered steam after becoming Liliput and adding saxophone player Angie Barrack. Whereas X-Ray Spex, another highly touted female-fronted punk group of the time, unleashed its saxist for garish, grating solos, Liliput allows Barrack to craft subtle melodies for its wordless choruses. Eventually, Liliput expanded its sound, ushering in tribal drums, rolling disco-style bass and jazzy free-form meandering, but even at its most experimental it retained its playful spirit.
One of its most complex compositions sports the silly title "Like or Lump It." It's like an organic version of Le Tigre -- all of the bouncy hooks and infectious personality, none of the electronic enhancement -- and fans of that group, as well as countless other punk groups from the past two decades, now have some highly enjoyable remedial listening to do.