Bad Worn Thing
Wire join PIL, Joy Division and Gang Of Four as the most influential post-punk bands. Of these, Wire stand tall as rare survivors who have kept the quality up over the years. Red Barked Tree uses an often sumptuous guitar sound to name-check various points in the band's history (from the bad-mood beauty of "Please Take" to the open punk aggression of "Moreover"). The surprise is how well Wire still balance their art-rock inclinations and classic pop craft with those deadpan yet melodic vocals and circular lyrics (they are a British band after all).