This third release in Wire's series of stopgap releases between full-length albums is a 25-minute EP whose four tracks exhibit most of the band's characteristic qualities. There's the unshaken faith in minimalist repetition that allows a track like "Desert Diving" to grow from stealthy beginnings to an almost bombastic conclusion, without undue haste or hauteur; the fascination with layered guitar sounds that reaches its apogee on "No Warning Given", where the guitars achieve a chiming intensity against the background bed of fuzzy noise; and the obvious relish for the sounds of words as much as their meaning. This is most evident in the 10-minute opener "23 Years Too Late", which alternates uptempo choruses delivered in Colin Newman's familiar cockney dialect with calmer verses built on a lurking organ drone, over which Graham Lewis recites surrealistic sequences of observations and assonant non sequiturs in his plummiest tones, as if advertising M& S food. More fun than pop clichés.
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