The album contains fifteen tracks by thirteen different artists and covers a broad spectrum of musical styles from blistering metal to subtle and lush jazz instrumentals... all of which combine to create an album that thoroughly illustrates the versatility of the 12-string bass.
The 12-string bass was created in 1978 during a collaboration between Hamer Guitars and Cheap Trick bassist Tom Petersson. Using the Colombian tiple and the Hagstrom 8-string bass as patterns, Hamer combined a 4-string bass with two guitars to create a bass guitar with a huge, almost orchestral sound. Tuned just like a standard bass, the strings are arranged in tripled groups with one bass string and two guitar strings both tuned one octave up.
The first widely distributed album to prominently include the 12-string bass was Cheap Trick's "Live At Budokan" album. Other bands who have utilized the power of the 12-string bass include King's X, Pearl Jam (on the song "Jeremy"), Life Sex & Death, Anthrax, Big Wreck and Galactic Cowboys, just to name a few.
About "Overkill Is Just Enough", reviewer Gary Hill of the Music Street Journal website writes, "Overall this is a strong compilation. I'd bet there will be a few cuts here that blow you away. It covers a lot of musical territory."