High Tension Wires
Welcome New Machine
With their 2005 debut Send a Message, High Tension Wires established themselves as a garage punk band hell-bent on carrying the torch for fast-paced, three-chord ragers who write their lyrics with their tongues in their cheeks — caring more about the vibe of the song than any deep sensible meaning. Comprised of members of Riverboat Gamblers, Mind Spiders and The Marked Men, HTW has the carefree air of a group of dudes banging it out on their down time — working through songs that maybe don’t “fit” in their main bands. The music carries with it a feel of “who gives a shit?! Let’s play!”
Their latest outing, Welcome New Machine, offers up another handful of seriously salty snacks. “Backbone” is a first-wave punk fan’s wet dream with its shakey guitars, playful spit-out vocals (courtesy of Mike Weibe), silly lyrics (you’re just a drone/ working on a honeycomb), and a melody that would make The Strokes jealous. “Subprime Love” has a killer chorus in which the drums steal the spotlight from the guitars, and “Handicapped Hearts” begins with a “Beat It”-like bass and slinks unsuspectingly into a rhythm and blues romp. If Buddy Holly had fronted The Stooges, it may have sounded something like this.
Everything about High Tension Wires sounds and feels pleasantly wrinkled and dirty. There’s no gloss, sheen, or smart producer hiding in the cracks. This band is so casual, so uncaring of the modern world, that they don’t even have an official website: they’ve got a MySpace page, and that’s it. How old school is THAT?!
High Tension Wires: www.myspace.com/hightensionwires