Read & Burn 01
This CD should come with a warning label advising listeners to strap themselves to something heavy before hitting play. From the instant the strident buzz of “In the Art of Stopping” hits, until the far too soon end of “The Agfers of Kodack” less than 20 minutes later, Wire barrels past you much like large trucks on the interstate late at night. This is brutal stuff. Managing somehow to make incredibly loud guitar and lockstep drums sound both robotic and at the same time intimately human, (such as the creepy whispered vocal of “Germ Ship”), Wire shows that the fire that was ignited in 1977 with Pink Flag hasn’t been extinguished yet, and fans of that albums nervous (guitar) punk energy will welcome the reliance on guitar this time around, instead of the predominately keyboard affairs of Wire Phase 2 on such albums as The First Letter and The Ideal Copy, which while proving just how dangerous and enticing synths and sequencers could be, never really “rocked.” Make no mistake — Read & Burn 01 rocks. Uncompromising, questioning, dangerous. Hopefully we won’t have to wait long for volume two. Essential.