Manchester independent label High Voltage is probably more renowned for it's no holds barred fanzine and impromptu living room gigs that have seen the likes of Nine Black Alps and The Longcut (rare b-side 'Dead Man' makes an appearance here) spring from nowhere into the stream of general consciousness.
'Power Overload' features twenty different artists of varying genres whose talents have come to the attention of High Voltage by one means or the other over this past year.
More's the point, there isn't a single track on this record that makes you want to reach for the [SKIP] button before the first chorus kicks in. Whether it's straight ahead angsty rock (Fear Of Music and Kill The Young), hard-edged techno-pop (Keith) or mellow country blues (Liam Frost and Nancy Elizabeth Cunliffe), 'Power Overload' really is one of those records that has something for everyone.
The Ending Of... and their nu-Cure pastoral rock of 'A Birthday Girl' is absolute proof that this year's miserablist revival is far from over, while Day For Airstrikes' 'Smile Happy No Face' redeems the post-rock mantle from it's increasingly stoic routine. Elsewhere, one-time Nylon Pylon-ers The Whip follow the forefathers of Mancunian electro pop New Order into paranoid-but-blissful afterhours disco heaven and Lisa Brown conjure up lush, pristine pop that jingles with anticipation as to what their next offering will be.
All in all, 'Power Overload' is a must have compilation that even the most southernly based A&R men will be slavering over before long.
9Dom Gourlay's Score