What better way to welcome founding member Eric Avery back into the Jane's Addiction fold than by putting out a box set of recorded trinkets? Never mind that this Jane's lineup was responsible for only two full-length studio albums or that the hodgepodge of recordings that is 1997's Kettle Whistle adds a hint of redundancy to Cabinet. With two of the CDs from this package consisting of demos and rarities from 1986-91 and the third disc being a 1990 live-show recording, it comes off like a more fleshed-out rarities collection. That said, this retrospective allows for a deeper appreciation for the solidly rendered subversity Perry Farrell and company were foisting on the masses. While Farrell's feral screech and Dave Navarro's heavily melodic riffing made the band immediately identifiable, it was the Avery/Stephen Perkins rhythm section that lent a tribal mysticism to songs like the ethereal "Mountain Song" and swaggering "Ocean Size."
All this and more are included in demo form along with the aforementioned live set from the Hollywood Palladium. The band's odd mish-mash of covers that include Dylan, Bauhaus, the Doors, and the Grateful Dead makes for a quirky tour of the band's inspiration. But it's the fourth disc, a DVD containing the 1989 home video Soul Kiss and its blend of blurred sexuality, gonzo interviews, and odd scenes with a pet chicken and eel that captures Jane's Addiction's core eccentricities on a set that's tailor-made for completists only. (Warner Brothers/Rhino)
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