Wire, Object 47

Douglas Wolk

By Douglas Wolk

on 07.14.11 in Reviews
A tribute to the way they inspired the noise-loving rock bands after them

Without guitarist Bruce Gilbert around, the dynamics of Wire shifted considerably toward their poppier side. Object 47 sounds much more like a Colin Newman album backed by Wire’s single-minded, repetition-obsessed rhythm section than like the digital assault of the Send era. That could, of course, also be the result of Wire’s immutable habit of having each record sound unlike the previous one, and there are a handful of songs here that would have been anomalous on any earlier album, like the subdued funk groove “Four Long Years” and the slow, cranky stroll of “Patient Flees.” The group’s lyrics this time are as interrogative as they are declarative, and a few songs seem to be addressed to a former comrade who’s disappeared: “Are you part of the problem/Or part of the band?” Helmet’s Page Hamilton turns up on the closer “All Fours” for what’s credited as a “feedback storm” — a tribute to the way Wire inspired the generation of noise-loving rock bands that came after them.