Wire Pink Flag/Chairs Missing/154 Review

Album. Released 2006.  

BBC Review

Bold and direct, they don't make them like this anymore.

Sid Smith 2002

Acerbic art rockers in post-punk clothing, Wire's reductionist manifesto, Pink Flag, challenged prevailing pop wisdom that what can't be said in three minutes isn't worth saying. Nearly thirty years after its release their stark survey of the 1977 landscape remains taut and decidedly bracing.

More Barrett-era Pink Floyd than Pink Flag, Chairs Missing (1978) still shows their aesthetic rigour undiminished.Witty, gritty, dysfunctional classics ("Outdoor Miner" and "I Am The Fly") benefit from producer Mike Thorne's interventions and make this glorious avant-pop coup the most satisfying of the three reissues.

Nevertheless, 154 (1979) offers an ominous space where the ever-caustic guitar hooks and doom-laden minor chords are bench-pressed into dark matter to be hurled into a black hole of reverb. On the fearsomely uncompromising "A Touching Display" their famous brevity is stretched into nearly seven minutes of thrilling, overwrought rock.

Bold and direct, they don't make them like this anymore.

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