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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 241 - 04/22/16

Wire
Nocturnal Koreans
Pinkflag

'Wire is like that old friend I see every once in a while. Each time I'm not sure what to expect: upbeat sometimes, complex and multi-layered other times or simply straight to the heart. In all cases, Wire is a welcome friend.' (Bob Boilen, NPR).

Nocturnal Koreans unveils a collection of milder Wire songs. Last year, the band released their self-titled, fourteenth album, which I enjoyed a lot. Indeed. Vocalist and guitarist (and main songwriter) Colin Newman and his team mates, bass player and vocalist Graham Lewis, drummer Robert Grey (formerly known as Robert Gotobed), plus 'newcomer' guitarist Matthew Simms (once referred to as 'a new boy', though he has been a member for 6 years now) returns a year after with this 26-minute long mini album. Eight songs of Wire pop, not as wired as in the old days but it still is signature Wire music.

Wire have always been an experimental band within the 'post punk' genre, either if they've been playing pop or punk. Or both, at the same time, simultaneously. The title track stands out as one of the best songs this time, with the almost butterfly lightness of "Dead Weight". Wire play pop (to 'quote' one of their compilations). "Numbered" is somewhat more tense, jagged and energetic. "Still" is also one of the better tracks, along with the closing "Fishes Bones", from a steady but also uneven record. That said, it's always good to meet this 'old friend' of a band. Their music makes me think of and mentioning the title of their 1989 album, It's Beginning To And Back Again (a.k.a. IBTABA): Wire move in cycles. Their songs are about starting, stopping, rewinding, repeating, returning, but never ending. Never-ending. Yes, they are on a never-ending run, merging cooled and heated ambience with radiant, experimental rock.

This year Wire celebrates their 40th year in the 'business'. They are welcome to continue their run for 50, because they are still a band with style and ethics intact. They are a band of integrity. For those who have missed out on Wire's previous works (shame on you, or rather: dive back and enjoy), a fine start could be one of their many compilations; either And Here It Is...Again..., or On Returning (1977-1979). However, I highly recommend (I always do) to go check out their classic and classy masterpiece 154.

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