WireEnglish rock band WIRE probably have the strongest début ever conceived. Their 1977 album, Pink Flag, is an absolute fucking classic and has garnered much praise and respect from music fans and artists alike. It’s a shame then that their latest collection of songs simply entitled, WIRE, is nowhere near the standard set so high by these post-punk wizards almost 40 years ago.

The album gets off to a solid start with its opener, ‘Blogging’. Newman’s lyrics of the internet and the technologically aware age we live in glide gracefully above the bouncing bass and casually strummed guitars. The drums are also simple enough, hi-hat and snare. It does the job, setting the tone of the record nicely.

The album plods along in decent nick for a while, the next highlight coming near the halfway mark with ‘Sleep-Walking’. It’s definitely the most ambitious song on the album, in terms of its composition and sound. Clocking in at just over 7 minutes, it’s a track that builds slowly creating a certain tension or dynamic which can be likened to the work of Peter Gabriel, most definitely with his Up era of the early 2000s.

It feels like the soundtrack to a sci-fi film set in a dystopian future or something; the vocals are shrouded in the darkness behind the crushing yet simple drum pattern. Matthew Simms’s guitar just seems to linger, occasionally making itself known with the odd sharp intrusion into the mix.

‘Joust & Jostle’, ‘Split Your Ends’ and ‘Octopus’ are probably the only other memorable cuts from this 11 track album. Unfortunately it’s very hit or miss. When it’s good it’ll grab your attention with its well-produced sound and technical performance, but when it’s not good it just feels a little safe, not even bad, just average and uninteresting. There is definitely more filler than killer on this album.

Overall WIRE is a disappointing experience. I was left feeling a tad bored if I’m honest. A bit samey in places, it definitely lacked variety and certainly stuck to a linear path of composition. I enjoyed its flashes of heaviness and dark contexts, but they weren’t frequent enough to keep me interested for long.

It’ll definitely keep the die hard fans happy, but as for more casual admirers like myself, it just doesn’t hit the spot.

5 out of 11

Release Date 13/04/2015 (Pink Flag)

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Liverpool born music writer with passion for punk and Everton FC