SHIFT / ROMANCE split "Gateshead Sessions" (Unrest Productions)

Shift's "Gateshead 1 & 2" starts out deceivingly with a staticy radio blaring a "Top of the Pops" style crooner. Soon enough this dissolves into a more predictable wall of distortion that continues with some change-ups for the duration. The sound quality is great, as per usual for Martin Willford's work, but weighs thin compared to Romance's offering as well as the rest of the Shift discography. While not on cassette, I heartily recommend Shift's excellent recent full-length "Unable to Abide the Silence of the World," also on Unrest, to anyone with interest in this project or modern UK power electronics in general. But back to "Gateshead:" on the flip, Dean Glaister's "Organ Builder's Manual" begins with a distant orchestral sample and bit by bit a low crackling gives way to the trademark arrhythmic cut-up blasts that Romance is best known for. Solid head-banging material! The overall package has a crisp offset design and is housed in a handmade slipcase. Fans of either of these projects would not be disappointed.