The fifteenth Wire album, released in the year of their fortieth anniversary, finds the group still sounding spritely and fresh. Most importantly of all, Silver / Lead finds them still sounding highly creative! CD and LP versions available, plus a deluxe CD-in-80-page-book edition that features stacks of exclusive text and imagery. Out on the band’s Pink Flag imprint.
Vinyl LP £15.99 PF24LP
LP on Pink Flag.
- Shipping cost: £3.35 ?
CD £11.49 PF24CD
CD on Pink Flag.
- Shipping cost: £1.05 ?
Limited CD £37.99 PF24SE
Special Edition CD in hard backed, 7”x 7”, 80-page case bound book, with text by Graham Duff, extended credits, lyrics, brand new interviews and exclusive colour photographs. Limited edition of 1000 copies.
There’s a moment in many a band's existence with they seem to be completely immune to criticism and Wire are seemingly there at the moment. Everything they ever put out is welcomed with open arms with no hints in reviews that they are maybe you know...repeating themselves a bit.
Admittedly 2015's 'Wire' was a right grower and my initial assessment of it being 'patchy' was then raised to 'pretty good all round' but then last years ‘Nocturnal Koreans‘ really only had a small handful of good tracks to show for the man hours that went into producing it. So seemingly minutes after the release of that thin 8 tracker we have a brand new album. The shadow of David Bowie hangs very heavily over opener ‘Playing Harp For the Fishes’ where Colin Newman again uses that robo-voice he insists pulling out on every three or four tracks. It’s a dark futuristic slab of eerie post punk which leads to ‘Short Elevated Period’ a noisy blast of melodic punk pop - not breaking any rules but also showcasing how Wire can produce likeable music without even trying. There’s a heavier feel to this album with lots of distorted guitars and some really pounding 80s style drums bashing away - those breezy melodies that have characterised Wire records of late have taken a darker hue.
It’s a listenable album of Wire doing what Wire do but I’m finding it hard to feel inspired. Maybe like ‘Wire‘ it will grow over time and I’ll again eat my own foot with frustration in getting it wrong so publicly. I like Wire a lot but at this juncture I just feel like I’m hearing the same thing over and over again.
9/10 R Swimmer 11th April 2017
Sorry you're wrong on this one. It's a real grower. At first listen, especially to the first couple of tracks it sounds like more of the same from the previous 3 records - but it rewards a few listens. Colin Newman apparently was worried it was a bit too slow or mid-paced but actually that's a strength and it benefits from a bit of space - the melodies get chance to breath. It's also great to hear Graham Lewis taking on more of the lead vocals, and new-ish guitarist Matthew Simms makes his presence felt wonderfully. Go back and have another listen (will do -Clint) - try the title track and 'An Alibi' in particular. The album benefits from slowing down in the same way that Pink Flag and Send traded on sheer velocity. Slow and so it goes.
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