Chairs Missing

Released

Punk was still thrashing about but Wire wanted none of it. They had the tools from Punk 1.0 and were already turning them on their paymasters at EMI. The first song mentions Sarah Bernhard, and the second is called “French Film Blurred.” The art school revolution that lives inside British rock like Roxy Music and Eno had another breakout here, in parallel with Leeds art students Gang of Four, who loved Godard as much as Wire. The risk is always the p word—pretentious, which is the fearful response to queries and experiments. Nobody took the p word more seriously than Wire, a band that birthed one of the greatest rock experiments ever, DOME, the duo of Graham Lewis and Bruce Gilbert doing the least normative things they could in a recording studio. Amidst all the refusenik ostinatos and echoey unknowns, there were still hits of a kind: “Heartbeat” and “I Am The Fly.” Colin Newman, despite himself, even at his angriest and most oblique, thinks in melodies. It’s a really gorgeous kind of left turn this one, and very hard to take off once it starts.

Sasha Frere-Jones

Suggestions
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