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    Splash, my main beef with Wire Mark II is largely to do with the production and not the songs as such. Something that's been discussed to death elsewhere on this forum.

    A lot of tracks from that era are brilliant with, for me, A Bell Is A Cup particularly strong album (my first Wire purchase in actual fact). But it's also my opinion that the band were trying to move forward in the dark during that time – the ever evolving technology can be blamed for this – and there's a directionless feel to albums like Manscape and The First Letter.

    PS Nice From Here is a great song!
    And Wire are my favourite band still on the go
    Craig says:
    I thought the drums this time sounded a bit more natural than usual, as if they'd been messed about with less rather than more during production. The main thing I question is that somewhat soupy chorus effect that now seems welded to all every Wire vocal.

    Yes, I agree the drums do sound more natural, but my qualm was with the lack of dynamic range sonically. The soupy chorus effect sounds like ADT (automatic double track) used to thicken the voice, plus another effect, possibly chorus, that I agree Colin seems to favour on nearly every track.

    Despite all that its a strong album.
    Knee-Jerk Reactions:

    - much of it sounds like what the guy who made Commercial Suicide might make in 2015 (not a bad thing)

    - Githead threads

    - much of it is brilliant

    - I too wish they'd lay off the Perspex Icon vocal trickery

    - a R&B4 with a selection of these might have been more powerful (to me)

    - I find it to be one of the best-sounding Wire albums lately - currently listening to the iTunes version since CD release is next week for US

    - In Manchester is another slice of brilliant pop-done-Wire. I do miss the 80s tendency to flog a good thing (like the stunning middle section of In Manchester) several more times within the song (Ahead, Drill, In Vivo), but on the other hand no one tackles brevity like Wire - so I will just replay it over and over and over and...

    - the myth that Bruce "brought the weird" was long ago dispelled, though I can't help but remember a recurring lesson from the Neate book: Bruce frequently squashed cliches

    - sometimes I miss Bruce

    - I like the fast tracks where Rob's hi-hats percolate all over the top a la A Flat Tent, but I'm afraid it's straying into "too much of a good thing" turf

    - some of the low-key synth bits make me think of the Cars

    - I don't think a Graham vocal is strictly necessary to make a Wire album, but I'd rather there were one frankly

    - overall it'll take some time with me - but so did O47, which I still quite like (mostly)

    - On Returning (the comp) was good but flawed, The A List was good but flawed... I'm sure there's no practical reason to release a new comp, but a "PF List" could be breathtaking - I can think of a few colossal track lists...
    I do not miss Bruce Gilbert, I enjoy Matt's refreshing guitar/pedal work with Wire. I do miss a Graham Lewis vocal, but 'Wire' is a bloody good album which will be played here lots n lots, and they are live in Liverpool a week today, hurrah! :-)
    A new Wire album, always welcome in this house. Patience short, FLAC an easy answer. Put it on the big rig, through the very good DAC, and must say, it does have a certain air. Yes, the drum sound is very different, the bottom omnipresent, and the guitars meld together in a purée; sonically it reminds me of a mono mix, not about separation, but about balance, across the entire sound stage. Newman (I assume) has a way with tuning an album to a particular atmosphere - A Bell Is A Cup quickly comes to mind. But never one to see the "dark" in Wire, at least musically, but this one has got that certain demeanour, This is Big Wire here, wide screen, cinematic, even monochromatic, but full of colour. Does Burning Bridges remind me of the Beatles? Does Sleep-Walking recall A Touching Display? Not that it matters, this is new Wire, always a good thing, always welcome hear.
    For some reason the lyrics to In Manchester reminded me of this story contained on page 271 of John Cage's wonderful Silence:
    Okay, I'm pretty much sold on the whole album now. Most of my reservations about the first half are officially withdrawn. That so many damned songs won't leave my brain—today it's been "In Manchester"; yesterday was "Octopus"—is the final proof. Perhaps not quite as compelling as CBU, this is still a more-than-worthy successor.
    I bought mine on Tues and I'm in approval.

    Fave tracks - Blogging (strong first number, love the opening bars), Sleep-Walking (love the percussion) and Harpooned which perhaps harks back to a more Chairs Missing/154 feel.

    I never thought I'd see the day when Wire released an album called Wire which is probably why they did, because no-one would expect it. That said I wish it was called something else - Blogging For Jesus or Swallow would have been better. Something totally random would have been even better still.
    'Wire' was the featured album on Steve Lamacq's round table and gets a general thumbs up from the panel - none of whom are particularly familiar with the band. Always interesting to hear what people who don't know Wire think of the new stuff
    I'm really enjoying the record after a few plays. I wasn't entirely convinced by some of the new songs like Blogging and In Manchester at the last few gigs but hearing fully formed studio versions they come alive - and there are little harmonic shifts and subtleties that you can't pick out when a new song is blasted out live.

    I agree with others I'd like a little less vocal FX although at times I think it's just multiple vocal tracks in unison rather than FX and there are backing vocals from Graham on 4 songs although he's low in the mix - you can hear him most on Octopus.

    That aside I like the overall texture of the record - a lot of detail, it reminds me a bit of 80s Wire in that respect and the poppier songs are more in the Kidney Bingos vein rather than 12XU or Send - there are no short, fast and shouty tracks - the nastier side of Wire is there but at a slow-burn in Sleepwalking and Harpooned.
    I think my favourite track right now is Octopus, sounds like classic Wire to me and you could easily shoehorn it into Chairs Missing. I'd have picked that as 'the single'.
    Great so far and will remain on heavy rotation round here.

    btw how are the Lexington Drill gigs going? Are they playing the same set every night? I would have thought during the residency they might throw a few oddities in the set list?
    I've seen the first two nights. Wasn't there tonight but i've seen the setlist.
    They played 20 songs including the encore.
    In all three night they have played the whole new album.
    Out of the remaining 9 songs 4 were different every night while the other 5 were constant.
    Couple of unexpected oldies they had not played for a very long time. Nice to hear.
    Harpooned best song IMO. Was particularly good yesterday. A monster of a song.
    Split your ends and Octopus also work very well live. So does In Manchester.
    Excellent gigs, sound was good and the boys are in good form. Really enjoyed it.
    Going to see them again on Friday and Saturday.
    Oh, and yesterday's support band (Tomaga) was very good too.
    Don't wanna ruin it for people who are either going to the Lexington gigs or the following UK tour -but - On each of the Lexington sets - and from what I can gather Brighton too the entire new album is included within the set - but their choices of other Wire material has slightly differed in the three Lexington sets thus far - they are definitely making things interesting.
    I have listened to the new record about 15 times and I am extremely pleased with the finished product. I think this is the strongest set of new Wire material since Send. The songs are well put together and I think Colin's melodies and phrasing are especially strong. I also think that Graham really contributes some excellent bass lines with this material, all of it is very bouncy and musical. I am also picking up some strong krautrock influences and I think Matt plays a big part in bringing that out which I think is excellent. Overall I am very satisfied and I am looking forward to hearing the other songs that were recorded during these sessions because we are quite familiar with the live versions.
    Slight correction to Biccio re the third night - there were 21 songs played - in fact the set is getting progressively longer - 19, 20, 21 songs - 77 mins, 86 mins, 91 mins. Three tracks on night one gave way to four replacements on Night Two - one of these stayed for Night Three and four more replacements were drafted in. Of course up to now 16 constant tracks - the whole of the new album scattered throughout the set (no back-to-back in order job here thank god) and as Biccio said - 5 oldies. Back tonight and tomorrow - and wondering about the RSD gig. I was proceeding in a north-westerly direction your honour.....
    Thanks Lee. Hope we get 22 songs tonight then ! :-)
    It was the first of three instalments for me on Tuesday and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    My questions/observations:

    - Wire were having pub evening meal at the Lexington when I arrived at 8pm Tuesday – the ultimate non rock and roll stance!

    - Karen Gwyer’s electronic experiments: it was ok and she looked quite happy with it and her swaying dancing was a bit odd. Can we have Bruce Gilbert on the bill doing this knob twiddling in future? Ok that's on my personal wish list but I’d hope Wire relations past and present are good enough that one day it could be considered.

    - The acoustics in the Lexington are crap if you are near to the front. Thank god the sheer spectacle of watching Wire live makes up for it.

    - Embarrassingly for someone who makes out to be a big Wire fan and has all the studio albums there were 2 songs I didn’t recognise – gasp!! If someone could pm me the set-list so as not to spoil it for others I’d be very grateful. I promise to study harder!

    - Have attendances been good on subsequent nights? I was a bit worried Tuesday but by the time Wire were on it was ok. I can understand people having drinks pre-show elsewhere – Lexington is quite expensive and staff are surly.

    I look forward to a revisit Saturday with Mrs ajobjects and Hebden Bridge later on the month.
    Not fully packed on the two subsequent nights but I hear tonight and tomorrow are already sold out. You only need to move back a couple of feet to get the good sound. Dunno about surly bar staff - but one thing is for sure is that there are never enough of them behind the downstairs bar.

    Karen Gwyer - I have a thing about Norman Watt-Roy of The Blockheads - he will play one note on the bass and pull what the youngsters of today call a "sex face" - a completely inauthentic expression. She was doing the same when she was flicking switches and suchlike.

    Aj - you've been pm'd
    It's good to read inside tales of Wire's gigs in the Big Smoke as I prepare myself for their visit to King Tut's in Glasgow on the 27th.

    Takes me back to when I could venture south to witness the Royal Festival Hall concert and the Flag: Burning extravaganza at the Barbican.

    Ah them were the days!
    On the fourth day of Lexington - Wire history was made. The gig wasn't so much a main set and an encore - more - as Colin put it - an experiment into a 2 part show.

    The first part was the new album - albeit with the tracks in a different order.

    The second part was seven more tracks - including one oldie played for the first time on the tour.

    What was historic was the line up of the second part.....

    Colin, Graham, Robert, Matt.....and Margaret Fiedler McGuinness!!!!!
    If I had one complaint about Wire albums in general and really this could date back to the 70's it's that there is never enough Graham background vocals. To me that is one of the great things about seeing Wire live. I love the way Colin & Graham's voices blend together. A song like "Manchester" which is already great on the album is explosively poppy when performed live.