Wire / Red Barked Tree

Red Barked Tree

Wire are an English rock band, formed in London in October 1976[1] by Colin Newman (vocals, guitar), Graham Lewis (bass, vocals), Bruce Gilbert (guitar), and Robert Gotobed (drums). They were originally associated with the punk rock scene, appearing on the Live at the Roxy WC2 album – a key early document of the scene, and was later central to the development of post-punk.

Inspired by the burgeoning UK punk scene, Wire are often cited as one of the more important rock groups of the 1970s and 1980s. Critic Stewart Mason writes, “Over their brilliant first three albums, Wire expanded the sonic boundaries of not just punk, but rock music in general.”[2]

Wire are arguably a definitive art punk or post-punk ensemble, mostly due to their richly detailed and atmospheric sound, often obscure lyrical themes and, to a lesser extent, their Situationist political stance. The group exhibited a steady development from an early raucous punk style (1977’s Pink Flag) to a more complex, structured sound involving increased use of guitar effects and synthesizers (1978’s Chairs Missing and 1979’s 154). The band gained a reputation for experimenting with song arrangements throughout its career.\

The Analysis:

Please Take—-What a wonderfully landscaped sound to introduce this first new release almost 5 years. The vocal remains the same…delivered with a slight British feel..the music is lazy and relaxed…allowing you body to easily fall into the groove of the band. there is an urgency in the underlying sound of the song. but the percussion that runs over top puts you in a slow and easy groove. This is fantastic!

Now Was—-Bass heavy at the onset…delivering a percussive sound that takes you back to 87, this is alive and electric…all the while delivering a nice updated feel that is still relevant today. The drums are huge on this track, the bass guitar enters and the percussion becomes the key to the song. The heavily over layed vocal has a slight post-punk attitude……this is brilliant…current and ancient as hell!!!

Adapt—-WOW!!! This is stellar…reminding me of the ’87 era There Is A Light That Never Goes Out, this has a nice updated psychedelic feel that makes you think of the Roses meeting The Smiths in a dark make-out corner. This is so layered and delivered in such a morose way…you each for your darkest make-up…this is sublime yet obvious…..making  me smile even more!!!

Two Minutes—-Much more musically aggressive, this is freakin’ brilliant. The band delivers a reminder of the great post-punk bands that emerged at the end of the 70’s decade and still manage to survive today. this is freakin’ stellar…….I could never ask for more energy, more noise and a better distortion than this!!!!

Clay—-This is so brilliantly Bristish….the throw-back sound of the early 90’s is all over this song and you are able to wear it very well. I could never ask for more from a 40 yr. Old band…..leaving me with a huge smile on my face and a magnificent smile on my face…which is hard to do in this day and age! This is a Beatle classic that the Beatles never wrote, a Roses classic that they never recorded…..a sublime example of why the Brits are so damn important!!!!

Bad Worn Thing—-This just seems to pick up from where the last track left off in the development of the Brit scene…there was a lazy point, a mellow point and a lacksadical point where the pleasure of British music fell from the landscape but never proved to be less than important…thius is a clear example…this is a brilliant Lou Reed song that was written 30 years after the demise of the Velvet Underground…I am so happy right now!!!!

Moreover—-filled with the typical and morose feedback that you would expect, this is a post-punk song that lives up to the moniker that follows it. The vocal is almost entirely filled with distortion, giving it a throwback sound that is inescapable. The short musical blast even speak more to the era of the minute short songs that formed the beginning of the punk movement…this is alive, electric, a bit distorted and damn nice!!!

A Flat Ten—This is full of that pre-Punk mop feel that made the way for the more aggressive sound of the 70’s. This is damn near brilliant…the sharp guitar chords are magnificent…..the vocals are a huge chorus of feel good sounds…the harmonies are almost irresistible. This is fabulous…I am left trying to catch my breath before the song quickly becomes…….

Smash—-Delivered from the onset with a guitar urgency that reminds you both of the early days while still remaining relevant, Wire proves with just this single song that they are still relevant!!! This is magnificent…full of feedback generated guitars and a progressive bass line, this only feeds into the myth that the Brits make far better music than we do…well, perhaps they do!!!!

Down To This—-At once, you delve into the jangly guitar that introduces  the song…this is spectacular. the song has a huge morose feel to it that makes you think of all the early leanings of so many bands…The Smiths, Echo, Joy Division, the Furs……but this band is still at it and doing it better than any of the afore-mentioned groups. This is dark and magnificent…..brillioant and bright!!!

Red Barked Trees—-This is another of those songs that manages to conjure up the psychedelic past with the alarming realist vision of the present. Somehow, this band has managed to produce music that is both relevant and reminiscent,….this shocks me and pleases me to no end…this entire record leaves me feeling so happy and nostalgic…exactly what music is all about!!!

**** 1/2 out of 5


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