Wire announce new self-titled album, promise to put an end to the year of disappointing post-punk comebacks

Wire announce new self-titled album, promise to put an end to the year of disappointing post-punk comebacks

It must be a bitch being a legend. Particularly so if the merit of your prowesses lays in a bunch of ridiculously brillant albums you recorded over 35 years ago. Time has not been kind to reunited post-punk bands returning in 2014, mere shadows of their former glory. Thankfully, Wire is none of those things. Despite spending a few months in a retrospective mood — releasing a recording of their infamous “final” show at London’s Electric Ballroom in 1980 — the British quartet have been recording new music for over a decade now, making what once seemed a career marked by two long hiatuses (from 1980 to 1985 and between 1992 and 1999) look like the natural intermittences of a sprawling tenure. True to character, the art-punk outfit has announced a new album, their 13th LP and the first collection of entirely new songs they’ve released since 2011.

Always after conceptually innovative ways to tackle their material, in 2013’s Change Becomes Us (their latest studio album), Wire revisited unfinished songs from their golden era, spinning them into new shapes. Sure, if looking back came across as a counterintuitive stroke of genius for a band hell-bent on moving forward — on a good day, you’re lucky if their shows include 3 “old” songs — releasing a self-titled album aims at repeating the trick. At the very least, it’s a pragmatic gesture from a group whose music is so characteristic, there’s no mistaking a Wire song for anyone else’s. It still happens today, when in the middle of a concert you realize it doesn’t matter if the tune they’re playing is still unreleased, off Chairs Missing, The Ideal Copy, or Read & Burn. Having inducted Matthew Simms as a full-fledged member, calling their new album Wire does suggest a strong self-affirmative move for a band comfortable in their skin and confident of their future.

Wire have so far shared two tracks from the upcoming album: “Joust & Jostle,” sounding like a new wave-leaning 154 outtake, and “Split Your Ends,” a throwback to Send’s lean but muscular spirit. Anyway, if you ask me, the gem to look forward to is “Harpooned,” a sludgecore scorcher they’ve been playing live for a time now, and which closes this LP. You can stream the tracks below.

Wire is out on April 21 via pinkflag.

Wire tracklisting:

01. Blogging
02. Shifting
03. Burning Bridges
04. In Manchester
05. High
06. Sleep-Walking
07. Joust & Jostle
08. Swallow
09. Split Your Ends
10. Octopus
11. Harpooned

[Photo: Kenichi Iwasa]

• Wire: http://www.pinkflag.com

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