Various A Houseguest's Wish — Translations of Wire's "Outdoor Miner"

Of all the songs in Wire’s catalogue, "Outdoor Miner” has always stood out as the lone track you could get away with taking home to have dinner with your parents. Though too atypical to be considered the normally edgier band’s best song, it remains Wire’s most accessible single ever and could very well have been a hit (at least in relative terms) had it not been dropped from BBC charts over allegations of improprieties by the band’s label, EMI. Had that been the case, the theme of this compilation would be far less obscure, though just as eccentric. As the disc’s subtitle suggests, A Houseguest’s Wish features various covers of "Outdoor Miner” — 19 of them, in fact, ranging from former Swervedriver front-man Adam Franklin’s hushed yet jaunty acoustic rendition, to UK outfit Fiel Garvie’s discordant skrink-skronk take and Kick On the Floods’ artsy, strings-and-synths version. Add to that a Tortoise-like instrumental (by Should), a couple of veritable carbon copies of the original (Typewriter, the Sems) and a stand-out adaptation by German cover band Boy Division that reinterprets the song in a gritty, more typically Wire-like form. Edmonton dream-pop unit Titania appears as the lone Canadian contributor. (Words On Music)