Get ye to the beach and jump around with some friends: you know, the way hip clothing adverts make you think your life could be, but actually never will be… until you give yourself over to an album like Recommended Record. If the world were a fair place, this would be pumping out of car stereos from New Cross to Newquay until the clocks go back again.
With their third album, Wire guitarist Matthew Simms and cohorts (including drummer Will Blackaby, whose own Shy Nature project has just come out of hiding – check Deadly Sin on YouTube) create infectious, wonky guitar-pop the likes of which we’ve not heard enough of recently. The opening one-two punch of Sa Sa Sa Sails and Go Magic! comes on like a shoegazy Super Furry Animals: a shot of euphoria in the faces of 80s revivalists lost in their affected ennui.
Recommended Record is a dizzying listen at times, with Simms’ Wire credentials ensuring that song structures come perilously close to flying off their axes. Even an instrumental named Piano Drone is far more kinetic and magisterial than its title wants it to take credit for, while the album’s latter half whips itself into a frenzy of shimmering guitars, electronic effects and dreamy vocals. The 90s revival starts here… maybe, but It Hugs Back is also a warm, fuzzy species all of its own, and well worth cozying up to.