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Read & Burn 03

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Read & Burn 03 album cover
23 Years Too Late
Our Time
No Warning Given
Desert Diving
Album Information

Total Tracks: 4   Total Length: 25:18

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Wondering Sound

Review 5

Douglas Wolk


Douglas Wolk writes about pop music and comic books for Time, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Wired and elsewhere. He's the author of Reading Comics: How Gra...more »

Wire, Read & Burn 03
2007 | Label: pinkflag / state51

The first two Read & Burn EPs were cannibalized for 2003′s Send (and its remixed vinyl counterpart, pf456). After the subsequent tour, Bruce Gilbert left Wire; Read & Burn 03, the final volume of the series to date, was recorded as a trio, and didn’t come out until 2007. It’s a transitional record, obviously, so the band hung a lantern on it by leading off with one of their most audacious songs ever. In place… read more »

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I agree with J.Rabid but...


..."Our Time" is more representative of, say, "Single K.O." than "Map Ref.," which is better represented in the pleasantly-stuck-in-your-craw-for-about-a-month chorus of "Desert Diving." Other'n that, he's on point; this one's better than the other two R&Bs for my money. Download now.

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They Say All Music Guide

London’s pioneering art-punkers Wire return to their Read and Burn series five years after 02 and four years since their last work, the Send LP. (In the interim, they remastered their late ‘70s manna.) Since Send relied too heavily on known 01 and 02 material, they’ve further announced that 03 will not appear on a new LP they’re completing. The big surprise is that where 01 and 02 rewound then modernized 1978′s Chairs Missing, 03 grabs the dormant controls of 1979′s immortal third LP, 154. “Our Time” echoes Colin Newman’s classic single “Map Ref. 41 °N 93° W,” with Newman and B.C. Gilbert trading similar futuristic guitars. The 9:46 opener “23 Years Too Late” even takes a monochord/monotone approach like “Two People in a Room” (and much of Pink Flag), then treats it to the epic hypnotics of “Touching Display”; it’s like the verse of “12XU” gone endless — an approach that pays off even better on “No Warning Given.” Wire’s 154 was so open-ended, and never successfully copied since, that this is not so much revisiting as revisionism, taking space rock elements and making something weirdly tighter-wound, like Chairs Missing. But it’s so expansive in production, one almost expects a returning Mike Thorne credit rather than Newman’s own. Sakes alive, if Wire have a whole LP like this on cue, it will make them not just living legends, but verifiable gods, for the post-punk possibilities in pop/anti-pop forever. For now, this is 25 rigorous minutes of minimalist pop heaven. Geniuses? Correct. Still. – Jack Rabid

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