Saturday, March 23, 2013

Wire- Change Becomes us

I tend to get tongue tied around greatness, don't you? So, I feel unworthy to talk about Wire, in some respects. I have been a fan for about 30 years, so yes, I know Wire, but they operate on a level so far above and to the side of me that I always feel like your viewpoint, whatever it is, may very well have a better perspective than mine.
That caveat aside, I have been listening to this newest CD repeatedly all this week.  Starting with "Doubles and Trebles"  all the way through "Attractive Space" this is a work of genius. Examples abound- Doubles and Trebles , a bit of post punk spy movie tension resolves the tension of the ascending bass line by removing it, and playing a suspended guitar line that answers tension for tension, so that when the bass line returns, the tension it brings is relief. That's genius. "Adore your Island" boils down Asia ( the band, not the continent, although I think they could) to two chords, and then, detonates it into a thrash chorus. That's right, they take pop prog through a hardcore blender. Immediately afterwards, on "Re-invent your second story" they come up with an alternate universe version of shoegaze sounds- basically answering the question, what if the surf-guitar influences of Robin Guthrie has been taken up by My Bloody Valentine. Then, right after that, on "Stealth of a Stork" they deconstruct anarcho punk to the motorik beat. Cr@ss as Neu! Think about that. Get the idea? Genre, convention, structure; all tools they can use as they please. All of us could, but only Wire have the vision to do so, freely. That these songs existed as sketches in 1979 speaks volumes. Consider what Wire did in 1979: 154 invented atmospheric New Wave, Document & Eyewitness tied punk, ambient and Dada together, and they still had these pop-punk-dub-new wave-ambient songs to spare? All this in a year that they felt Wire had reached an end?
I've said before that Wire occupy their own world. This still strikes me as evident. How else could they touch  on so much, so efficiently? They are in their world, observing ours. Alien Overlords? I don't think it overstates the case to say that the metaphor suits.
Matthew Simms, the "new guy" acquits himself  nicely. He is more subtle than Bruce Gilbert, but no less unconventional- he's clearly  more interested in the sound than the notes, sometimes building riffs from pick scrapes on the strings.
But the best part is that, unlike certain other bands, he's integrated into Wire, not the other way around- Wire is still Wire. The genius is undiluted. I cannot explain why I like Wire so much. It's like they are connected to my subconscious- I never found them to be obscure, or obtuse, but I cannot adequately explain them, either. It's like trying to decipher the logic of a tremor- the music connects to me on that literally visceral level.  The best I can say is that they touch on literally everything I have ever listened to since.

No comments:

Post a Comment