Front cover of ‘Wire’
by Matthew Langham
It is rare for a band with a forty year history to sound contemporary, but with a back catalogue of over a dozen records, Wire’s self-titled album fits in nicely with their forward-thinking oeuvre. Two years on from Change Becomes Us, they still maintain their edge with an intriguing experimentation in motorik-driven electronica. The quartet have taken the post-punk riffs and engrained them into sophisticated guitar pop, along similar lines as New Order. Long gone are the days of ‘12XU’ and ‘Ex Lion Tamer’ – Wire are ahead of the curve and refusing to be pigeon-holed or relying on their past hits.
‘Blogging’ is a typical Krautrock guitar inspired track which talks of the digital age and its role in modern day society. The remainder of the record stays in a similar stylistic field and falls into a cross between Toy, The Horrors and New Order. In fact, ‘Joust and Jostle’ could quite easily be mistaken for Toy’s ‘It’s Been So Long’ – not exactly a bad thing though! ‘Split Your Ends’ and ‘In Manchester’ were born out of experimentation with unfinished lyrics by frontman Colin Newman. ‘Harpooned’ sees the band cut loose with an eight-minute long closing track of surging guitars and feedback. For those who love Wire, this will be a glorious return even though it isn’t going to set the world on fire. The casual listener or first-timer may want to stick to their epochal 1977 debut Pink Flag and delve through their back catalogue first before arriving to their new record. (6/10)
Tags: album, Colin Newman, Matthew Langham, review, Wire
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