Attack of the Killer Track! is a series that explores tracks from artists from a variety of genres. Some of the tracks were singles, some of them were obscure b-sides or long forgotten album tracks. One thing is certain – all of them are killer tracks.
Wire are a tough act to categorize – coming up with the initial UK punk revolution in the late 70’s, they seemed to be instant outsiders. Chainsaw guitar tones, shouted vocals, songs that ended before the chorus repeated – post punk before it existed? The band churned out 3 vastly different albums in the late 70’s – punkish, post-punkish, and art rockish (I guess). The 80’s found them experimenting in pop structures and seeking more electronic pastures – strangely enough, not much connects with me from this era. The band’s return in 2003 heralded another golden era of Wire for me, culminating in the recent release of the band’s self titled album (their 5th upon returning again). Where’s the Wire novice supposed to start? I had to answer this question recently, and undoubtedly I’d push the listener towards the title track from the band’s 1977 debut. It is a perfect song, not just from the punk era – from any era. Bands have spent close to 40 years trying to duplicate the guitar sounds Bruce Gilbert conjures up. The rhythm section is a machine-like beast here, Robert Gotobed’s drum patterns playing off of the impeccable bass playing by Graham Lewis. And how about those vocals? Reserved for the 1st 2 1/2 minutes as the song builds, positively exploding in animal like yelps for the last minute or so. Perfect. As a forward thinking band, even all these years later, I can only hope they play this track at their upcoming Seattle show. Once things for certain – I won’t be the same afterwards. I’ll be changed.