Colin Newman's name adorns the producer's role on more albums I own than I can count. In the 90:s Graham Lewis gave us the superb yet short-lived electro project Halo (interviewed in paper Release #2/95). Robert Grey is a human metronome. As a drummer, I feel he has few equals, the man's timing and intuitive methodology are without a doubt unique.
Onto the record then, their 47th release and eleventh studio album: it's tight, it's taut, it's the sound of rapid transit, metropolitan chaos. The music is without a doubt their tightest yet. I had my doubts about them without Bruce Gilbert but "Four Long Years" makes them disappear. One doesn't just listen to a track like this straight on, even though it sounds like standard rock, it ain't, kiddies. Radiohead and others of their ilk are crying little emo tears of agony over this, I can only imagine what U2 make of this. There's no need to bother with any other rock act out there (yes, Wire have been called a lot of other "styles").
This thing moves. Pacing is kept constant, words are tightly wound to the meter. "Hard Currency" has a beat to be ensnared by and seems to have been created soley to show off Grey's chops behind his kit. Wire sound electrified, they sound ready to take challenges from all comers. "Object 47" is about the last thing you'd expect from a bunch of men who've been around this long but bloody hell they're raring for a dust-up. There's an immediacy to this new one I've not heard for a very long time.
The one thing which holds it back from the elusive ten is its length: thirty five minutes and some change. They did all of this in a little over a half hour but damnit all I want more!