Monday, July 13, 2009

REVIEW: Wire - 154

8 out of 10

I'll admit it, I'm no authoritive figure when it comes to explaining the genius of Wire. However lately I've been revisiting Wire's third full length album "154" named after the amount of live gigs they had played up to the point of the albums original release date in '79. Wire were one of the original bands to emerge from the 70's British Punk movement. However, rather than being straight forward "Punk", Wire add elements of keyboards, electronics, and few other "experimental" ideas that make them more a part of the No Wave movement rather than Punk, kind of..

"154" is terrific for someone interested in the early roots of "Punk" music and also for anyone interested in the beginning stages of New Wave music. Smarmy/angst-y Brit-Punk vocals articulate words of wisdom be it political, moral, or just plain artsy over splashing cymbals, rolling toms, perky kicks, incredibly dark & dancey bass lines (what you may expect from that era), dark "goth-like" sounding guitar effects, and my favorite - the "catch you off guard" keyboard effects/production surprises. Back when the idea of music being more of an art-form, rather than just pretty melodies was relatively new Wire were ahead of their time.

Most of you probably know of Wire by now, if you've ever been curious where to start with their HUGE library check out "154". For those of you unaware of Wire, mix a bit of Punk, with a dash of Goth Rock, a little New Wave, and an artistic flare that will have you begging for more. It's insane how many bands Wire obviously influenced, but it definitely makes sense. RECOMMENDED.

Standout Tracks: I Should Have Known Better, The 15th (Fisherspooner fans might recognize this song), A Touching Display, On Returning, A Mutual Friend, Get Down 1 + 2 (love this track), Let's Panic Later, Small Electric Piece

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