Since their historical debut in 1977 with Pink Flag and the emergence of punk rock on their shoulders, London’s Wire have since been on and off the scene but always reemerge with a bang. They were also there during Britain’s music revolution of the new wave punk scene, right before their sound branched out. Sure, they may have experimented from their once heretical and far-out style but that just may be another reason as to why they are so punk rock. Don’t be mistaken, Wire is still unique and rambunctious as ever before, as showcased by their 13th studio album, self-titled Wire.
With most of the album recorded in Rockfield Studio overseas, the band is paying homage to their origins by citing “London” numerous times throughout and even a song titled “In Manchester.” Current members include Colin Newman, Matthew Simms, Robert Grey, and Graham Lewis. The quartet has assembled an incredible new album—a crossbred of their old-style heavy percussions, hefty guitars, and their new electronic elements.
Wire is one of those albums that the songs connect fluidly without sounding dreadfully dull and drawn-out. Guitar progressions mid-song and multi-colored sounds and elements save the tracks that are covered by Newman’s unhurried voice, which is a shadow among much of the album’s instruments. Wire starts off in a passive manner, with the songs moderately coming along and lyrics almost inaudible. In “High,” the two-minute ensemble is like one long leisure hum, melodic and easy. As the album goes along, “Swallow” showcases another song without any big bands, but electronic rhythms and a peace of mind instead.
Like a whisper ascends to a thundering bark, Wire ends rapidly and colossal. “Split Your Ends” begins the electric pace, while harmonizing all instruments. “Octopus” starts with fast guitars, static noises, and goes straight into a progressing track. The big bang, “Harpooned” is a massive track—not the fastest but the loudest! Nothing was held back for the end scene of Wire, with nonstop boisterous guitar and deafening cymbals. And like a TV set left on without a cable box, we are left with the sounds of static until black.
With Wire’s album being either a bad luck charm or lucky number 13, I’d have to go with the latter. Wire is a masterful new installment full of the band’s history with London’s punk emergence and new age sounds. Through the years of change and progression, we can be sure of one thing when it comes to this band: rock lives on.
In A Word: Headstrong