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WIRE – ‘Silver/Lead’ Album Review

WIRE – Silver/Lead

wireWire kick off extensive celebrations for their 40th year as a band with the release of their 15th studio album, Silver/Lead, which will be released on March 31st via the band’s pinkflag label.

The album is as current and vital as ever with the band showing no signs of their creativity ending. From the opening dissonant chords of Playing Harp For The Fishes, it is clear that we are in for a treat. Marrying Joy Division with David Bowie, the offspring is a churning trip into melancholy territory. Short Elevated Period ups the tempo with layered guitars and vocals producing that unique sound reminiscent of early goth bands such as early Cure and March Violets.

The music is what I would describe as ‘addictive’ in that you want more and more to produce the highs. Diamond in Cups is simply superb reminding me a little of XTC with the vocal treatment with some great lyrics. The production is meticulous but still leaves space and a certain rawness to the songs. The last three albums from the rejuvenated Wire have all been well received and Silver/Lead is an excellent addition to their catalog. The band is not content to churn out sound-a-like tracks from their past but focus on creating new and vibrant music that is a pleasure to listen to.

Forever & A Day is both simple and complex at the same time as minimum percussion and guitars combine with keyboards to produce a mournful backing to plaintive vocals begging for a partner “to stay, forever and a day.” The songs are lengthy given the listener ample time to engage and be lured into the psychedelic atmosphere. On Sonic Lens the band slowly build up layer upon layer but keep it minimal and engaging to produce a beautiful four minute and thirty second classic.

This Time is another track that is allowed the time and space to build with a hooky riff, angular intersections of instruments and the deep and sad sounding lead vocals. It’s an album to be listened to on a rainy Sunday morning, played loud as a partner to your coffee and newspaper read. Each track is unique yet familiar with Brio almost Sigur Ros in approach whilst Sleep On The Wing is almost orchestral in scope.

The album closes with the title track, Silver/Lead and it’s a terrific effort harking back to bands like The National and even Vic Chestnut. Wire continue to push boundaries, combine elements of goth, shoegaze and post punk psychedlia to create a unique and current sound that is as fresh as anything out there right now.

The new album is available in a number of unique formats from the usual online stores.

See Wire live in the UK during April and May:

21-22nd April LEEDS (UK) DRILL : LEEDS
4th May LONDON (UK)  The Garage
5th May LONDON (UK)  The Garage

 

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