Wire

What's it called?: 
Change Becomes Us
What does it sound like?: 
Having recorded 3 iconic post-punk LPs in the late 70s, Wire began work on the 4th but only got as far as playing the new songs at a series of audience baffling shows (captured on the notorious Live LP 'Document & Eyewitness') before imploding amid record company strife and good old fashioned musical differences. Fast forward to 2013 (via a fascinating on/off career and late period flourish) and Wire have revisited the unfinished tracks from that period, but this is far from dusting off old demo tapes or recreating the past. The songs have acted as a jumping off point for what is a magnificent, brand new record. There are spiky, urgent tracks that recall Wire at their best circa '154', some bouncy post-punk jerkiness, shiny 80s Wire pop, some hypnotic drones, lots of shouting, and lots of the almost proggy shimmering dreaminess that characterises their more recent work. New member Matt Simms adds some extra crunch and it all adds up to a record that stands up with their best.
What does it all *mean*?: 
Lyrics range from vaguely unsettling to the wonderfully absurd. Sample lyric: "No stinking Butlin’s Ian, playing cupid an angina i.e. brine, night sown too inky, Heidi nil and eels sang (lino)". Beady Eye this ain't.
Goes well with …: 
There are tracks like 'Magic Bullet' and 'Love Bends' that sit happily alongside Wire's poppermost tracks like 'Map Ref' and 'Kidney Bingos'. Yes it's that good. I can't think of another band of Wire's vintage still producing work as vital as this
Might suit people who like …: 
Wire's last LP 'Red Barked Tree' caught the ears of many who may have given up on the band after their imperial phase. If you enjoyed that record you'll love this one, and if you only know the late 70s era Wire you really need to hear this.

Comments

It was only after their third that I actually listened & liked what I heard. This sounds up my street. I'll explore further.

Nice review, Dr. Being succinct & yet detailed in the restricted Nights In format is tricky. You've dealt with the conundrum extremely well! Thanks.

Took a few hefty edits but I like the challenge of trying to shoehorn everything in within the pesky word count.

Yip, after "Red Barked Tree", which is a masterpiece, I have been looking forward to this new one immensely.

Did you go for the standard album or one of the many bundles from their pinkflag site? I see the £1100 option, which comes as a limited edition of one, and includes one of Colin Newman's guitars is still available...

so I went for the special edition CD and hardback book, and subscribed to 'Bootleg Series vol.2' which gets you 9 live recordings and two bonus downloads including the infamous 'Recycling Sherwood Forest'. You can't have too much Wire.

I think the regular CD will be in stores on Monday and the Vinyl release is going out on Record Store Day.

I was looking forward to getting this, even more so after reading your review.

and I have to say...

It's bloody fantastic!!

Can't wait for the gig.

Is supporting them at the Lexington with his band Comanechi. Check them out, they're pretty cool.

I once tried to tie the bass player from Wire's shoelaces together at a show, as they were doihg the 20min droney thing rather than playing the hits. I'm never quite sure whether to look back on that episode with pride or shame. Either way, I was quite rightly ejected.

Is not a man to be trifled with. An extraordinary man, and he's not one of those people in bands who are just 'great blokes'...he is not of this earth and truly you are lucky you didn't get a Doc Marten wedged in your jawbone. Weirdly...I think I've heard of this incident from someone else! Small world Mr Chimney!

They never play the hits. Never have done and I love them for it. Tonight they played the whole of the new LP, and encored by playing 'Pink Flag' with 30 guitarists on stage. One of the best gigs I've ever seen.

I have been tipped off about them by a few pals over the past couple of weeks, must check them out.

Hmmm...Wire + Hits just don't go well together, mind you the South Bank show with The Sonics was as close as they got I guess.

Loved this. Several tracks may end up on CSI soundtrack??

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