Wire made three of my favorite albums of the late 1970s: Pink Flag (1977), Chairs Missing (1978) and 154 (1979). Now, 40 years later, this brash, sonically adventurous British band is back with "Short Elevated Period," a song from a brand new album called Silver/Lead, coming March 31, and they didn't let me down.
This is particularly remarkable for a band that barely made it into '80s, breaking up just a few years after it debuted and later trying to put its past to rest by touring with an opening act that would perform those songs from the '70s so they could play their newer tunes. Maybe that focus on the present made them more capable of evolving than the average punk band, because here in the 21st century, three of the four original members still actively make vital new music as Wire: Colin Newman, Graham Lewis and Robert Grey (a.k.a. Robert Gotobed). Despite being in their 60s, having added a younger bandmate, guitarist Matt Simms, Wire still have fire in their music and plenty to say.
"Short Elevated Period," highlights this "pivotal moment, in an uncertain future" as Colin Newman sings, in lyrics written by bandmate Graham Lewis.
Skippering a skiff, in the typhoon seasonOpen to change and in need of a handNo longer confused by rhyme nor reason Indian queens paddle dugout canoesThe passenger matches the price that he's askingEmbracing the modern he now understands It's a pivotal moment, in an uncertain future A pain relief deal done on the Frankfurt expressRight up to the moment I I.D. youMy reasons for living were under reviewA parting of the ways, what had it come to? Standing in the road, where would I go to?In a short elevated period In a short elevated period In a short elevated period
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.