The alternative band Wire’s latest release ‘Red Barked Trees’ shows why the band, formed in London in 1976, has stayed in the music business so long. Taking long breaks and staying fresh, rhythm guitar/vocalist/music writer Colin Newman, bassist/lyricist Graham Lewis, guitarist Bruce Gilbert, and drummer Robert Grey are in fine form here. If you like edgy guitars, they are a staple of Wire’s sound. The song “Two Minutes” although the guitars are typical Wire, the strange alternative spoken word poetry style is not for the average listener. With a combination of spoken and singing together in the same song, “Bad Worn Thing” shows the variety and diversity of the tracks which comprise the album’s choices. Complete lyrics for the entire release are shown on the web site www.pinkflag.com.
They are like many artists, such as The Pernice Brothers and Nine Inch Nails, who choose to be their own record company and have been so for many years. Several of the songs are available for free listening, as well as one minute samples of all of ‘Red Barked Trees.’ In the old days this wasn’t possible. My favorite song here is the cool breeze that blows through the song “Adapt”, and “Clay”, with it’s intriguing jangle and boiling guitar combination, running a close second. If more edgy songs appeal to you, “Moreover” and “A Flat Ten” are right up your alley. Not edgy or too mellow is the more laid back sound making up the songs “Down To This” and “Red Barked Trees,” which close album. Another standout song is the catchy crunchy guitar sound of “Smash.” Although not a classic, the latest from veteran alternative group Wire, ‘Red Barked Trees,’ is four star listening.
Contact the Author: KennethEOquist@ArtsandEntertainment.com