Wire, Read & Burn 01

Douglas Wolk

By Douglas Wolk

on 07.14.11 in Reviews
Brief, super-condensed rock songs, disassembled and reassembled digitally

It’s a delight to hear Colin Newman sneering about “a comet/coming this way with your name on it,” in part because that’s the sound of Wire mk. 3: icy, monolithic, huge and unstoppable. The original plan for Read & Burn was that it would be a series of six EPs, and the first one, released in 2002, is faster and harder than anyone would have guessed they had in them. Wire’s new working procedure combined elements of their first and second incarnations: brief, super-condensed rock songs (25 years in the trenches had toughened and streamlined Robert Grey’s drumming even more), disassembled and reassembled digitally. They’d also extended the minimalism of the Pink Flag era to their lyrics: “In the Art of Stopping” has all of 11 words; “Germ Ship” beats it with 10.