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Various Artists | Pow! to the People (Track and Field)
Compiled to celebrate four years of live events, 'Pow! to the People' brings together a eclectic assortment of pop gods large and small, all of whom have played under the Track and Field banner. With some notable exceptions (Herman Dune, Cane 141) the bands draw from the American and British indie-pop worlds. A healthy quota of unreleased songs and alternate versions are scattered throughout, although the sleeve notes leave this to the listener to discover. Heavy-hitters on disc one include Great Lakes, Of Montreal, The Aislers Set, The Ladybug Transistor and The Essex Green, their British counterparts offering little competition. Disc two is more experimental with Fonda 500, Olympic Lifts and I Am The World Trade Center setting out a wonky-legged stall on which lo-fi oddities from Homescience, Saloon and James William Hindle (a stripped-down take on You Will Be Safe) are sat. Fellow Brits Black Nielson close proceedings with the Derrero meets Flaming Lips epic, Our Little Family of Bears, before them The Tyde and The Clientele introduce composure and class to the set. A surprisingly diverse collection and testament to the increasing pulling power of a once 'elitist' club.

Matt Dornan
CWAS #13 - Autumn 2003