Friday, June 5, 2020
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Stress: The Big Wheel

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Artist: Stress
Title: The Big Wheel
Format: CD
Label: Other Voices Records
Rated: *****
The first time I listened to Stress' "The Big Wheel" I had the feeling I already listened to them, but I'll tell you later about this. This compilation I'm reviewing has been compiled by Other Voices records and contains thirteen tracks recorded by Strees for their six tracks MLP issued in 1985 by Alan Rider's own Adventures In Reality and other seven bonus tracks recorded during the 1984/1991 period. "The Big Wheel" is a nice track that reminds of early Portion Control, a bit more melodic mixed with 80s e.b.m. Gathering industrial attitude, dancey intuitions and catchy elements, a bit of cinematic atmospheres (like on "Elizabeth Selwyn"), Alan Rider and Phil Clarke, packed a MLP that contains good songs. Check "Get The Most" or "No Sane Alternative" and you'll be projected back to the years when bands like Attrition, Bushido or many other Third Mind bands. Listening to these tracks you'll get a hint about who influenced labels like KK Records or Zoth Ommog. Anyway, personally, I got a stroke to my heart when I arrived at track seven. The time I listened to "The Prayer Clock" I recalled when I was a kid and my brother Marco came back home from one of his UK trips and brought back "Life At The Top" LP compilation. I liked so much that compilation: it had Coil, Bushido, Attrition and that Stress' fantastic track. I like it as much as Portion Control's "Chew You To Bits". Both are energetic, have dance rhythms and catchy minimal melodies. Withing the bonus tracks you'll find here there are some surprises like "Under Blue Skies" (a melancholic e.b.m. ballad) or the mellow synthpop of "Another Rainy Day" (it could fit the first The The album). This compilation is worth your attention if you are a fan of early e.b.m. or if you are eager to find out some forgotten band of that period.

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