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Wire - Read and Burn 01

Since Wire regrouped a few years ago there's been little material released - a CD EP of an early session, a documentary CD of their Living Legends performance at the Royal Festival Hall, London, a digitised version of '12XU' on 7-inch vinyl with nothing forthcoming until now. Read and Burn is the first new material in quite some time and was it worth it? Yes, unequivocally so. Read and Burn 01 is carefully created fast 'n' furious and as tight as fuck.

Colin Newman's sneering vocal still bites, Bruce Gilbert's guitar positively buzzes, Graham Lewis's bass remains solid while Robert Gray's drumming is as precise and basic as it always was. There are only six tracks but highpoints include 'In The Art of Stopping' - an instant Wire classic, the lunatic directness of 'Comet', and the bunched distortion of 'I Don't Understand'. Useful (map) reference points would include Wire's seminal Pink Flag as Read and Burn bursts with punchy guitars, angry vocals, and straight no nonsense rhythms. The artier and more electronic Wire has been dropped in favour of raw energy and immediate power wrestled from basic rock instrumentation.

In an age of 60+ minute CDs Read and Burn clocks in at a mere 16 minutes. There's no embellishment, no ambient remixes, no filler. They've such a varied and distinguished career behind them but even on the basis of Read and Burn Wire are deserving of all the accolades they receive. For more information go to