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Review

Wire

Turns and Strokes

Whore achieves two firsts: WMO's first non-archive CD and the very first Wire tribute album. 21 groups offer versions of various Wire tracks, some taking things to the extreme, others providing fairly straight covers.

As one might expect, the bulk of the tracks are from Wire's 1977-1981 period and obvious 'winners' include Godflesh's crunchy 40 Versions, Carl Mark's bubbly Eastern Standard (a big improvement over Wire's turgid Document and Eyewitness version), and Main's stressed Used to. Some of the attempts to be different simply don't work. The Petty Tyrant's Our Swimmer has more in common with Torch It due to heavy drumming that soon becomes annoying, and Chris Connely's gospel-tinged A Mutual Friend might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but doesn't work at all.

However, the tracks that really shine are taken from Wire's '80s output such as Resolution's version of It's a Boy, which is a wonderfully eerie re-working of the piece, and Scanner's quirky Eardrum Buzz that outclasses the original with its combination of subtle electronics and ringing telephones within the rhythm.

Being a tribute album, the quality is variable and the electronic re-workings tend to be superior. The typical rock takes and straight cover versions mostly do little to inspire, but Whore still manages to be a good release due to the variety of approaches the various bands take.

Craig Grannell

Cover artwork