I’m a pretty orthodox person when it comes to rock. If it’s too soft, somehow, it’s difficult for me to consider something to belong to the rock genre. However, I found the newest album by Wire, a British alternative band, pretty easy to listen to. Maybe because of the mood of it; melodies and a dream-like atmosphere remind me of the 1990s.
The whole is basically an easy album to listen to but it’s also pretty varied and soft rock songs are often contradicted by those who have a punk influence (such as Two Minutes). I think that Wire, which was found in 1976 has a pretty interesting story. I’m not exactly an expert on their achievements, I know some of their songs but not necessarily whole albums. However, I think that as in 1990s many artists claimed that Wire had a huge influence on their music today the 1990s definetely has an impact on Wire. Just to remind you, even though Wire never achieved a huge commercial success, some of most important bands of our time claimed that it was important for their own musical development. Among them R.E.M., The Cure, Manic Street Preachers, many britpop bands (Elastica, Blur), many of the contemporary British bands (Franz Ferdinand) or even, overseas, artists which rocked much harder, e.g. (this may be a surprise for you) Henry Rollins.
Red Barked Tree is varied but it also is consistent. And, what is charming about it, is that anyone can find something for themselves. I mean, what would be wrong with Moreover being performed by any of the post-Velvet Underground bands, or even by any of grunge bands in the 1990s? Or Down to This by (let’s hear it!) Joy Division? Or Two Minutes performed by the Pixies or any of the today’s post-punkbands? Or A Flat Tent being performed by the Clash or even the Police? Or Adapt, which is one of my favorites, being perfomed by R.E.M.? Or Smash being performed (if it wasn’t for the vocals) by Queens of the Stoneage?
It’s also fun to listen to, if you’re into guitar sounds, especially typical alternative rock guitar sounds. This album presents such a variety of differently sounding guitars, it could actually be used as a guide for those who want to learn how to play guitar in an alernative rock genre.
All in all, it’s not my kind of music exactly but I appreciate this record a lot and I think it’s well written, professionally performed and brilliantly mixed and engineered.
A really good album. And one more thing which is crucial in my situation. It’s not so easy to make my co-workers go crazy and kill me for listening to it. I can listen to it in my office and nobody will get angry or shake their head with disapproval. And there is high chance that some may move a bit to the more energetic tunes or even ask me to borrow the record.
p.s. Funny addition. Colin Newman of Wire collaborated with ex-Minimal Compact musicians in a band called Githead. What is funny is that I used to listen to Malka Spigel, who was a member of Minimal Compact, in early 1990s. So… yep, 1990s and the history that comes back. Music is like outter space. Noone can track its routes with exact details, it’s too abstract. But if you find one it’s like finding a star in an unknown galaxy.