Wire have never been a band to throw out punchy riffs for the sake of a chart track, instead they focus on projects. The release of their self titled first album is drastically different to their newest release Nocturnal Koreans. Wires’ new album is almost an overflow of ideas as the songs have stemmed from tracks that never made it onto their first album. This album however takes a different approach to music and sound as a whole. Instead of focusing on musicianship that the band clearly posses, they focus more on a superficial creation and experiment more with sounds constructed in the studio, using the environment as an instrument.
This has resulted in some very ambient tracks like in ‘forward position’, with long drones of noise that you can’t quite connect to an instrument. The vocals have extra reverb which add a chilling quality as the echoing vocals decay into the empty expanse in the air around them. The placid tone makes it seem as though the music should come to a climax but remains on the same level, calm yet chilling in an entrancing cycle.
Although being known as a punk band, Wire’s new album posses’ a different spirit that can be likened to Pink Floyd and a form of R.E.M in places. ‘Still’ ironically is one of the more active tracks and gives more of that 80’s vibe starting similar to David Bowies ‘Bowie’s with the guitar and drum rhythm.
This album may not be the definition of punk but it is a great experiment which has gone right. Wire have explored ideas that you may not always consider and provides something a little different to your complicated guitar solos, not that they’re a bad thing, just gives you something else to think about. You can get lost within the ambient drones of noise, a great way to listen and a good way to think.