Wire - Silver/Lead album review

Art-poppers continue their second imperial phase

Cover art for Wire - Silver/Lead album

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Still mourning Bowie? Choose life – his spirit shines on in the relentless forward motion of Colin Newman and Wire, marking the band’s 40th anniversary with their sixteenth album, that sounds like the work of a band that’s just starting out.

As contemporary upstarts like HMLTD and Foals probe at the edges of synthetic music looking for undiscovered loopholes, tracks such as An Alibi and Sonic Lens serve as masterclasses in scenic experimentation, skilled weavings of Disintegration, Autobahn and Scary Monsters decorated with modern sonics.

What in less delicate hands could’ve been as tragic as putting the New Tricks cast in light-up heelies is instead a timely reminder that madness and melody are born bedfellows. Even as tin whales are sucked backwards through the droning psych guitars of Playing Harps For Fishes, early My Bloody Valentine invade the hyperchargedShort Elevated Period or T.Rex undergo euphoric electroshock therapy on Diamonds In Cups, Newman’s melodic impulse has never been sharper, drone pop never more relevant and uplifting. A record born under a blackstar.

Mark Beaumont

Mark Beaumont is a music journalist with almost three decades' experience writing for publications including Classic Rock, NME, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Times, Uncut and Melody Maker. He has written major biographies on Muse, Jay-Z, The Killers, Kanye West and Bon Iver and his debut novel [6666666666] is available on Kindle.