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2007/11/19

Wire - Read & Burn EP series


Band: Wire
Album: Read & Burn 01
Country: UK
Release Date: 2002

With the 1990 departure of Robert Gotobed (now Robert Grey), Wire ceased to exist, becoming the trio WIR. A decade later, however, the unpredictable foursome reunited for a series of concerts. Playing together again, the bandmembers realized Wire still had something to say. Tracks from 1999 rehearsals appeared on The Third Day, but the band began recording completely new material in late 2001. That first studio collaboration since Manscape resulted in Read & Burn 01. It's appropriate that this release from British punk's most innovative band should coincide with punk's Silver Jubilee. But although Read & Burn 01 evokes the taut and abrasive, pared-down rush of Pink Flag -- before the more experimental departures of Chairs Missing and 154 -- this isn't empty nostalgia. On the vintage foundation of simple, minimal patterns repeated to often-hypnotic effect, Wire builds a beefed-up, contemporary wall of sound. In keeping with the title, this material is urgent and intense, feelings conveyed by the music's sheer pace. The three-chord wonder "In the Art of Stopping" kicks things off frantically and the band goes into overdrive on the deconstructed speed metal/hardcore onslaught of "Comet," with Grey's characteristically relentless, rigid beat at the center of the sonic maelstrom; aside from Colin Newman's trademark sneer, this could be an outtake from Motörhead's Overkill. Although there's a respite on the shouty "I Don't Understand," with its ominous, lumbering groove recalling "Lowdown," elsewhere Wire sustains the amphetamine pace. They end with a bang on "The Agfers of Kodack," an assaultive number enveloped in Bruce Gilbert's swarm-of-bees guitar. During a 1977 Wire gig at London's Roxy, a heckler shouted at the band after every number, "That's better, now louder and faster." Read & Burn 01 suggests that 25 years later, Wire might still be hearing that voice egging them on.

1.In the Art of Stopping3:34
2.I Don't Understand3:17
3.Comet3:17
4.Germ Ship1:51
5.1st Fast1:41
6.The Agfers of Kodack3:14

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Band: Wire
Album: Read & Burn 02
Country: UK
Release Date: 2002

On their post-millennial return to the studio, Wire rediscovered no-nonsense noisemaking, trashing the art component of their pioneering art punk identity and throwing themselves headlong into a fast, loud, and bilious new philistinism. The band's first salvo, Read & Burn 01, was a stomping, short, sharp shocker, the aural equivalent of getting jumped in a dark alley by a bunch of irate, amphetamine-addled pensioners (well, Bruce Gilbert was nearing 60 when the CD appeared). A few months later, with listeners still cowering in the corner groping about for their glasses and checking for broken bones, the thuggish quartet came back to put the boot in again. Grounded in the three Rs (repetition, repetition, and repetition), Read & Burn 02 shares its predecessor's hit-and-run aesthetic: it's a post-industrial punk rock barrage of buzzing, stinging guitars; chunky basslines; and clockwork beats littered with terse, strangled vocals that fall somewhere between bolshy, pre-brawl aggression and football-terrace chants. The sound of Wire 2002 rarely lets you catch your breath. From the title track's deconstructed glam rock rhythms to the metallic rush of "Nice Streets Above" to the hectoring speedcore of "Raft Ants," these numbers seem fueled by a "last-one-to-the-end-of-the-song's-a-sissy" competition among the bandmembers. But while the overriding feel is one of menace and urgency, there are some less-fraught moments. It's a good cop/bad cop routine: Amid the general sonic onslaught, part of "Trash/Treasure" sees Colin Newman trading his heckling delivery for almost soothing vocals and Wire playing pop in a way that recalls their better '80s material. Still, Gilbert, Grey, Graham Lewis, and Newman have never had much time for nostalgia, and the new level of assaultive energy here emphasizes that the band is still reinventing itself. Read & Burn 02 is the sound of Wire not so much looking back as looking forward in anger.

1.Read and Burn2:35
2.Spent4:43
3.Trash/Treasure5:07
4.Nice Streets Above2:50
5.Raft Ants2:05
6.99.97:42

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Band: Wire
Album: Read & Burn 03
Country: UK
Release Date: 2007

Having spent the four-and-a-half years since the May 2003 release of Send, their last full length studio album, consolidating and reappraising their back catalogue (by means of CD and DVD releases and re-releases of their '70s material) and for the most part remaining out of the public eye, Wire have nonetheless not been creatively idle. Although drawing on a resource pool of material developed over the entire post-Send period, Read & Burn 03 benefits substantially from a concentrated creative effort and newly defined aesthetic sense developed since mid-2006. Wire, ever multi-layered, ever redefined, is evolving yet again. No greater indication of the seismic shift in Wire's intentions can be given than the very fact that the first track on the band's first utterance for almost five years is nearly 10 minutes long!

The fertile creative seam hit over the latter part of 2006 continues to be mined, and although Read & Burn 03 stands as a body of work in its own right, it is but the finished part of the larger set of material from which Wire will draw the next album. Note, however, that no material from Read & Burn 03 will be included on the next Wire album. Read & Burn 03 is NOT a part installment: it stands in its own right.

1.23 Years Too Late9:46
2.Our Time4:33
3.No Warning Given5:26
4.Desert Diving5:34

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2 commentaires:

John Trashe a dit...

new blog
garage punk, surf, instro, rockabilly rock&roll etc, etc

ManX a dit...

hi!
can you re-upload the WIRE "Read & Burn" series please?
the links are dead.
thanks!