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Review

Wire

The Drill

Bruce Gilbert claims that 'There can never be enough Drills in the world.' Depending on your musical persuasion you may or may not think otherwise after hearing this effort. It starts well with In Every City?, a superior version of Wire's live track 12DrillU, which in itself is a mix of Drill and 12XU. A relentless dance beat is augmented by various random electronic burblings and a softly spoken Newman vocal that perhaps highlights Wire's working practices, 'Starting with an ABC, wanting to Drill fully/Editing skilfully, arguing forcefully'.

What's your desire? also holds the interest with ethnic sounding instrumentation and a contrasting Lewis vocal, but by the weak and very 'normal' sounding A Berlin Drill things are starting to slide and many of the tracks become pale imitations of Drill, crafted in some randomised mechanical manner . Jumping Mint saves the day due to its sheer energy, but the remaining pieces enforce the fact that this is really a release for fans of electronic minimalism or those with a drill fetish.

Taken as a whole the album is pretty coherent and has some great moments; it just struggles to be engaging enough to last the full 55 minutes. And just what the lame live take is doing on the end of this CD when a far superior version already exists on A Bell is a Cup Until it is Struck is anyone's guess.

Craig Grannell (1998)

Cover artwork