Wire, Read & Burn 03

Douglas Wolk

By Douglas Wolk

on 07.14.11 in Reviews
A transitional record

The first two Read & Burn EPs were cannibalized for 2003′s Send (and its remixed vinyl counterpart, pf456). After the subsequent tour, Bruce Gilbert left Wire; Read & Burn 03, the final volume of the series to date, was recorded as a trio, and didn’t come out until 2007. It’s a transitional record, obviously, so the band hung a lantern on it by leading off with one of their most audacious songs ever. In place of their recent miniatures, “23 Years Too Late” is almost 10 minutes long — a bizarre crouch-and-pounce epic involving “rhizomic gastropods” and “sonic paramedics,” built around a chintzy-sounding organ playing a garage-rock riff. The other three tracks are more straightforward, with the band grasping at a new tone that’s somewhere near the territory of the early-’90s alternative rock bands they’d inspired.