Tuesday, 1 February 2011

REVIEW: Wire - 'Red Barked Tree'

How this group manage to sound so fresh and completely in tune with 2011 is incredible, since they formed back in 1976 and have a career spanning 34 years.

The opening tracks of the album begin to build up the mood of this record nicely, and then 'Adapt' evokes a dreamy haze before 'Two Minutes' brings us a thoroughly enjoyable punk rant against the backdrop of a fantastic nagging riff and an awesome gritty drum sound. 'Clay' is without doubt a Wire classic, delivering an infectious tune and making it sound so simple, and 'Moreover' hooks you in with its dark repetitive groove with the guitars sounding like razorblades against the insistent pound of the drums. But it's the final two tracks that reveal this record to be a stunning piece of work: 'Down To This' and the title track 'Red Barked Tree' are both dark (but with major glints of light), hypnotic, filled with very pleasurable sounds and once again home to simple but very addictive melodies. The guitar work on both these tracks is just beautiful, the production is absolutely perfect, and songs like this demonstrate why Wire are just as innovative and essential today as the many bands that their work has inspired.

'Red Barked Tree' is fantastic to listen to and deserves many many plays. Go and get it. 8.5/10

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