Wire (Photo by Marylene Mey Web)
Legendary U.K. quartet Wire recently released their 13th studio album, the self-titled Wire, on April 13, and they start a U.S. tour in support of it on May 26 in Portland, Ore.
They perform locally at the Black Cat on Saturday, June 6.
Formed in 1976, Wire gained a new guitarist in the form of Matt Simms, who replaced founding guitarist Bruce Gilbert in 2012. The reinvigorated band have leapt into the studio and the road, regularly releasing and performing material that reminds audiences worldwide that they practically invented post-punk.
In March, Wire released a single, “Split Your Ends,” showcasing the self-titled record’s heavier side.
“Split Your Ends” was written when singer/guitarist Colin Newman asked bassist/vocalist Graham Lewis to send over some unfinished, unformatted text so he wouldn’t be bound by what to use for the chorus. The stuff that Graham sent formed the lyrics of two songs on the new album: “Split Your Ends” and “In Manchester.”
Listen to “Split Your Ends” on YouTube:
Colin sometimes introduced tracks to the rest of the band right before they entered the studio in order to spur spontaneity. The vocalist said in a press release that he is going to continue to press Wire to release new material instead of resting on their laurels and playing the band’s best-known gems at flashback festivals.
“The point where our personal narratives meet is all about change – moving on and keeping it interesting for ourselves,” he said. “We’re in it for the long haul and this is a one-way trip.”
Critics seem to agree that the trip is worthwhile, as the album Wire has garnered “generally favorable reviews” as aggregated by Metacritic.
“The album borders on monochromatic at times (possibly because there are no songs by Graham Lewis, who provided some of Red Barked Tree and Change Becomes Us’ finest tracks), yet its subtle subversions are thoroughly Wire, and thoroughly befitting the band at this stage in its career,” said All-Music Guide, rating the album four out of five stars.
Tickets are available online and at the Black Cat.
w/ Julian Lynch
Saturday, June 6