Wire - Change Becomes Us

Old dogs perform old tricks to perfection

When Wire disentangled
themselves from the Harvest
label back in 1979, plans to
re-sign elsewhere foundered,
and the band splintered as
individuals pursued solo
interests and more
experimental musical tangents.
They had, however, written and
performed new Wire material,
some of which they’d
performed at London’s Notre
Dame Hall in 1979, as
captured on their 1981
posthumous live compilation
Document And Eyewitness.

Having reformed a couple
of times in the decades since,
Wire have revisited that material
written between 1979-80 and
recorded fresh versions for
Change Becomes Us.
Consequently, fans can now
play spot-the-difference
between the likes of Ally In Exile
(as it appeared on Document
And Eyewitness) and its new
incarnation as Doubles And
Troubles; it’s gone from
a growling guitar monster into
a polished gem that would fit
seamlessly on 154. In fact, the
likes of Time Lock Fog, Magic
Bullet, Love Bends and Keep
Exhaling could have all jostled
for position on that, their third
LP, as Change Becomes Us
sounds almost like a lost fourth
Harvest release. & Much
Besides, meanwhile, recalls
Chairs Missing, opening like an
extended version of that
album’s Heartbeat, with a few
minutes of angular drift before
Colin Newman’s vocals appear.

4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars

Pink Flag | tbc

Reviewed by Ian Shirley
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