#410 on Rolling Stone Top 500
Wire - Pink Flag
Year Released: 1977
Colin - Vocals
B.C Gilbert - Guitar
Robert Gotobed - Drums
Lewis - Bass
When is a punk record not punk? When it's post punk? Wouldn't it have to made after
the punk years? Can a post punk record be made while the bomb for the punk
explosion has not yet exploded? These questions seem stupid, but they have a purpose.
The album Pink Flag
by Wire is an enigma. It was made in 1977 when punk was just starting to explore the airwaves, yet it sounds nothing like the material being made by it's punk brethren. Yes, this is a punk album, but not as you know it. Yes, it has the short, blazing songs, but there are also slow, angular breaks.
Enough of the babble, let's talk about the album shall we?
is an album truly ahead of it's time. The album starts of with Reuters
, a song made up of echoed bass and droning, yet layered guitars. There are vocals played in the background, as well as over top of the music. Field Day for the Sundays
, the shortest song on the album is over before you know it. Three Girl Rumba
is a jumpy, very danceable track.
Tracks like Ex Lion Tamer
, Straight Line
, It's So Obvious
and Mr. Suit
show off Wire's pop, but punk tendencies. Wire can play catchy, snotty punk tunes, but when they play them they leave others in their distorted wake.
This album is accessible if you take the time to listen to it, and is so tremendously catchy it's noit funny. Songs like 1 2 XU
and Dot Dash
will be implanted in your ears for days. This album is riddled with angular guitars, urgent, jerky drums and simple but effective bass. Colin's vocals are unashamedly British, and are often no more than a mumbled, slurring yell.
The best thing about this album is it's total omission of filler. The record goes for a quick 39 and a half minutes and every second is used wisely. If a riff has run it's course and the song starts to sound old, then BAM! it finishes. This is a record devoid of excess, glitter and sparkle.
Most of these tracks are brilliant pop songs with a punk as fu
ck attitude and a fresh, original take on things. There are some tracks that stand out from this already shining collection of gems. Commercial, The
is vocal-less, stop start race with signature Wire guitars. Lowdown
is probably the slowest song, and is definately my favourite. It's a truthful rendition of a boring life, withthe clearest vocals of the album that are surprisingly haunting. 1,2 XU
is a buzzsaw paced, satirical masterpiece. Dot Dash
shows off a sweeter side of Wire, and is a poppy, fun song with the catchiest vocals of the album.
was a step forward for music. While Wire would take their sound into new, uncharted punk territory with Chairs Missing
, Pink Flag
to me is the true Wire album. A definate must for any true fan with an appreciation, for simple, original punk ditties, cockney attitude and art school leanings.
Final Rating: 5/5