Graham Reid | | 1 min read
In the late Seventies Wire delivered a
trifecta of classic post-punk, minimalist and arty albums -- Pink
Flag, Chairs Missing and 154 – then called it a day. In
subsequent decades they reformed dropping drummer Robert Gotobed to
appear as an alt.electro-rock outfit (not much cop), in the past
decade their sound became more aggressive and impressive, Gotobed
returned -- and now Bruce Gilbert is out.
This incarnation of Wire refers back to
that classic period for its elemental minimalism (the aural deja-vu
of A Flat Tent) and brevity of songs (only one the 11 here
passes five minutes, four under three). But there now is a
streamlined sheen and the opener Please Take (“your knife
out of my back”) is close to first-phase Roxy Music or early Eno.
Later Adapt and Bad
Worn Thing are cut from
similar cloth, and Clay is a relentless dark pop delivered
over increasingly noisy guitar.
But – aside from lyrics
throughout which are disconcerting, droll and sometimes sharply witty
– there are blasts of their more recent musical menace here too:
Two Minutes is mad but
disciplined guitar thrash; Moreover and Smash
are crafted Erasehead-grind metallic pop; the brooding Down
to This rides on electrostatic and repeated guitar and keyboard
Smart, sharp, approachable and economic, Wire again give art-rock a very good name.
Like the sound of this? Then try this.
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