Before they dissolve and take the first of many pauses, the band gives EMI their most sincerely accessible album ever. How do you complain about an album with two of the most perfect recordings of the decade: “The 15th” and “Map Ref 41 Degrees N 93 Degrees W?” It’s also got some of their hardest guitar noise, as heard on “Two People In a Room.” What emerges here is that Wire wants to stretch to the absolute extremes of what you can do on a record, as a band. There are no sweeter harmonies this year, and there are no guitar tones more unapologetically hostile. In some neighboring world, Newman and Lewis and Gilbert would have been writing for a band of four identical woman sporting identical bowl cuts and singing about the male gaze at sold out stadium shows. Still time!

Sasha Frere-Jones

Oxygène cover


Jean-Michel Jarre
Suicide cover


Karma cover


Pharoah Sanders
Ballads cover


Time is Away
Blue 05 cover

Blue 05

Forest Drive West
Divide and Exit cover

Divide and Exit

Sleaford Mods
Instrumentals 2015 cover

Instrumentals 2015

Flying Saucer Attack