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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 229 - 05/04/15

Wire
Wire
Pinkflag

Hey, it is so good to hear Wire again! They're in tip-top shape! This self-titled album is their 13th studio album since the band founded in 1976. Can you believe it? And, yet they sound young, fresh, vital and relevant. Hooray. Not that they've been boring over the last years. Now, they simply sound better than... not ever, but as good as (almost) in their prime years.

The players, as they present themselves via their home site: 'Colin Newman: Wire's front-man, rhythm guitarist and tunesmith; Graham Lewis: Wire's bass guitarist and main lyricist; Robert Grey: Wire's drummer, known for his minimal, metronomic style; Matthew Simms: Wire's guitarist, whose approach is based purely on sound.' Of course (well, to me it's obvious), I prefer their first phase (1977-1979) the best, with the classic albums Pink Flag (1977), Chairs Missing (1978), and (my personal favourite) 154 (1979). Then, they had a 'second phase' from the late 1980s to the early 90s with albums like The Ideal Copy (1987), A Bell Is a Cup (1988), Manscape (1990), and (as Wir - since they were only three of the originals as Gotobed left the band in 1990) The First Letter (1991). The band reformed and returned with the primal Send (led by tough, hard-kicking songs like "The Agfers of Kodack") in 2003, but founding member Bruce Gilbert quit the band for good the year after. However, this didn't stop a new coming (or going on), with Object 47 (2008), Red Barked Tree (2010), and Change Becomes Us (2013). New guy on board, guitarist Matthew Simms (he is thirty years younger than his band-mates) entered the band around last album (Change...). Drummer Robert (formerly known as Gotobed) was also out of the band for a period (1990-2000), but the core of the three original members plus the distinct sound of the 'new boy' makes a perfect team. So it seems. So it sounds.

'Since their formation in London in 1976, the members of Wire have maintained and advanced a musical project which treats the creative potential of a rock band as a fluid, amorphous medium. As removed from self-conscious intellectualism as they are from the inherent conservatism of much rock music, Wire employ their unique, endlessly restless and risk-taking creativity to question every aspect of song-writing, recording and performance. They delight and disturb in equal measure, troubleshooting the circuitry of perfect pop, or patrolling the limits of focused experimentalism. In terms of working together as Wire, the group's members disbanded in 1980, reformed in 1985, disbanded in 1992 and reformed for the second time in 2000. Such sabbaticals from their career as Wire have served to sharpen the group's edge and focus, updating the tactics with which they pursue this shared project.' (Michael Bracewell, pinkflag.com) Yes, Wire's new, self-titled album will probably rank very high on the list of the band's albums. Hear the playful "Octopus", enjoy their ode to where they come from with "In Manchester". Wire is smart and clever, catchy and appealing, vital and energetic, fresh and modern. They have managed to renew their creativity over the years. Again and again. Wire prove that they have more lives than any alley cat around. Like pinkflag.com states: 'Wire embraced the purpose of punk as a minting of otherness and newness'. They have continued to do so. 'The point where our personal narratives meet is all about change - moving on and keeping it interesting for ourselves, We're in it for the long haul and this is a one-way trip' (Colin Newman, pinkflag.com).

Wire's ice-cool coolness if perfect for a rainy day as today, but they also fit every day. From summer's sun, to winter's frost. They're a band, with music, for every season. The music od Wire contains both shadows and sun. Wire stands for monolithic, modern rock, with a sense of (dark) humor. They don't look back, but quite cleverly use their rear view mirror.

'People said we were mysterious, arch and dark. But the only way of doing that successfully, is by also having a sense of humour. You have to have that balance. With Wire there's a peculiarity, a contrariness and that can be funny' (Graham Lewis, pinkflag.com). Long live Wire.

Copyright © 2015 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Wire articles/reviews: 154th, Nocturnal Koreans.

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