Wire: “Internal Exile”

Photo by Owen Richards

Wire is so punk you can’t even call it a punk band anymore. The British band’s late ’70s triptych (Pink Flag, Chairs Missing, and 154) attacked punk with a knife and invented something else entirely, something taught and small but ferocious and far-reaching. The ripples continue to spread, connecting Pixies with Sleater-Kinney, Spoon with Parquet Courts.

Wire’s jagged missives still speak volumes in this new century, and the band keeps shooting forward. Each album isn’t so much a reinvention as a refinement, and their latest isn’t technically a full album. Nocturnal Koreans strings together leftover shards from 2015’s self-titled, but this latest Wire model is something to behold. They work with rounder musical edges on “Internal Exile,” using an acoustic guitar to create shimmering arpeggios. The sound has progressed, but the message stays the same: disconnect from the disconnection; fly your own flag.

Nocturnal Koreans is out now via pinkflag.

–Art Levy

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