Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

I love Wire, and I stayed with them past their big bang moment of helping to re-create the modern rock song and sound, getting into the 80s with their sometimes workmanlike electro-rock and automatic writing exercises. They found the keyboard long before post-hardcore Bob Mould got on one (and even the turntable, too), and though we never stopped playing the seminal (yes, that overused word can be dragged back out when you talk about Wire) triptych of their first three releases, Pink Flag, Chairs Missing, and 154, it was always a good idea to stick around for such proto-90s essentials as A Bell Is A Cup too. 

Colin Newman, Grey, Graham Lewis, and occasional collaborators don't get quite the same posh level of adoration that Gang of Four or XTC seem to get from current bands, even though they all came out of the same primordial post-punk stew. Actually, none of these bands quite get the actual recognition (or financial rewards) they deserve for making bank for Franz F. and Modest Mouse and the hits of the Oughts as they come through the gated company pipeline of indie rock product. But that's been all well said and done before, the issue is, is Object 47 really something you want to buy and experience in the here and now, history set aside?

Not particularly. I almost want to recommend it more due to the hilarity of the Jon Langford-baiting "Mekon Headman" (which, due to their careers being so similarly tenacious and ever-evolving in terms of genre, has to be a gentle piss-take), but it just doesn't sound like they found the muse on this one. For every trembling rhythmic muscle twitch in "Perspex Icon" or "Patient Flees" there's a rather pedestrian chunk like "Circumspect" or "All Fours." I have been listening to this album for months and never learned to love it. Now, should you see them live if they play near you soon? YES. Should you maybe hear these songs live and then chuck my opinion and buy this anyway after you experience the absolute dialectic that is highly controlled shambolic riff-punk? Possibly. Download a track or two and see what you think.