Wire – Object 47
Iconic band of yesteryear releasing first album in x years (five in this case)? Dan’ll cover that.
I don’t know whether it’s because I’m the oldest guy In the E&D office, but these records keep landing on my desk. However, unlike the recent comeback attempts from James and the Wedding Present, to name but two, Wire have returned with something really quite special.
Moody, brooding and menacing this is an album that belies the fact that this is a band that has been making records since 1977. This is the 47th entry in to the Wire discography, hence the ‘Object 47’ title, yet sounds as fresh and urgent as any of today’s young bucks.
The engine room of Graham Lewis and Robert Grey provide a backdrop of almost suffocating density, the bass and drums creating a canvas against which singer Colin Newman and guest guitarist Page Hamilton, replacing Bruce Gilbert, can paint their pictures in counterpoint.
‘Perspex Icon’ is a perfect example of the above. An insistent buzz saw guitar riff sits above a rolling, deep bass and Newman’s voice hovers in falsetto over it all. In contrast, ‘Hard Currency’ comes on like an out-take from Massive Attack’s ‘Mezzanine’ with a huge, dubby bassline and attendant electronics. This is a tune made to rock dancefloors, from a band that created its reputation in Post Punk angularity.
Amongst other highlights, opener ‘One Of Us’ is an anthemic stomper that has a bass groove and pounding beat that wouldn’t be out of place on a disco record, while ‘Mekon Headman’ bubbles under with suppressed anger.
This is the sound of a band that have been around long enough to be supremely confident in what they are doing, yet retaining the creativity and urgency of their youth. If only all comebacks were this listenable and this accomplished.
Top Tracks: ‘Hard Currency’, ‘One Of Us’.
Released 14/07/2008 on Pink Flag