Boomkat Product Review:
**The prototypical post-punk standard bearers present a collection of reworked songs originally penned during their creative heyday 1979-1980** "Out of those sessions and subsequent extensive development and production, the ostensible source material became, in the classic Wire tradition, something quite other than what it may have once been - or what it might have become if it had been pursued in 1980. 'Love Bends' is a case in point. Its roots lie in a raucous, octave-hopping number performed in February 1980 at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, but it's now morphed, improbably, into an irresistible, totally modern pop song. Just as improbably, the gently lilting 'Re-invent Your Second Wheel' is tangentially connected to a performance piece that was mostly shouting and banging, executed by a stageful of Wire cronies in funny hats. Similarly transformed, '& Much Besides' is a six-minute oneiric-melodic interlude that gives no hint of its putative origins in 'Eastern Standard' - a dreary, obtuse three-minute track from the Electric Ballroom concert. Colin Newman's songwriting and production on 'Change Becomes Us' reimagines the past in ways that ultimately break any substantive connection with it, making entirely new pieces - and these songs themselves enact Wire's restless drive to become other, often thriving on a fundamental tension between opposing sonic characteristics. With its stop-start, soft-hard, quiet-loud structure, 'Adore Your Island' veers between prog and unhinged punk rock, never quite resolving itself; the drama of 'Attractive Space' hinges on a progressive splitting of the song's personality, between its calm, expansive, anthemic orientation and an increasing sense of intensity and claustrophobia. 'Change Becomes Us' encapsulates the paradoxical essence of Wire's creativity. The tendency of these new songs to refuse a single, settled identity is emblematic of the band's ever-evolving aesthetic - one that's always hinged on sustained tensions and oppositions: between the familiar and the unfamiliar, the comfortable and the unsettling, the melodic and the brutal, the cerebral and the visceral, the smart and the moronic, the obvious and the inscrutable, the rational and the absurd. This intrinsic, core ambivalence generates the essential otherness that has characterized Wire's most memorable and distinctive work - from the epochal innovations of 'Chairs'Missing' and '154' to the electronic-pop deconstructions of 'A Bell Is A Cup...' to the postmodern-punk expressionism of 'Send' and the widescreen lyricism of 'Red Barked Tree'. 'Change Becomes Us' is an undeniable part of that illustrious lineage. Definitely more than just a good idea at the time."