Wire - Nocturnal Koreans Album Review

Night time’s the right time for the post-punk legends’ extra bits.

Wire Nocturnal Koreans album artwork

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Regenerating like a post-punk Doctor Who, the fourth-phase Wire have found themselves so prolific lately that 2015’s self-titled release yielded eight rubies-in-the-dust, rounded-up here.

The sleeve art is, er, minimal, so it’s down to the music to prove itself – and thankfully it does just that.
Without the polish of favoured studio Rockfield, the ethos behind the EP was “any trickery is fair game, if it makes
it sound better”.

In his Swim HQ, Colin Newman put parts together for a familiar foundation of throbbing bass and bright, shiny guitar, typified by the title track, which carries our eponymous nomads along at a speedy, motorik lick as Newman’s distinctly English delivery – reminiscent of Andy Partridge and Steven Wilson – asks ‘Do you think you are able/ Of finding your way?’ Keeping the tempo up are the brisk trumpet march of Internal Exile, the robotic, poppy Numbered (complete with a sweet Autobahn-like outro) and a strident, drum-heavy Still.

The sweaty, galley-slave swing of Pilgrim Trade is a standout, but who could resist the bonkers prog disco ruminations of Graham Lewis grabbing the mic for Fishes Bones? Situationism at its most gloriously playful.

Jo Kendall

Jo is a journalist, podcaster, event host and music industry lecturer with 23 years in music magazines since joining Kerrang! as office manager in 1999. But before that Jo had 10 years as a London-based gig promoter and DJ, also working in various vintage record shops and for the UK arm of the Sub Pop label as a warehouse and press assistant. Jo's had tea with Robert Fripp, touched Ian Anderson's favourite flute (!), asked Suzi Quatro what one wears under a leather catsuit, and invented several ridiculous editorial ideas such as the regular celebrity cooking column for Prog, Supper's Ready. After being Deputy Editor for Prog for five years and Managing Editor of Classic Rock for three, Jo is now Associate Editor of Prog, where she's been since its inception in 2009, and a regular contributor to Classic Rock. She continues to spread the experimental and psychedelic music-based word amid unsuspecting students at BIMM Institute London, hoping to inspire the next gen of rock, metal, prog and indie creators and appreciators.