WIRE, the post-punk luminaries’ seventeenth studio album has been released, and goes to show that they are still one of the strongest forces in post punk after all this time. Recently hailed by the Quietus as “one of the most consistent British bands of all time” they have been constantly producing sublime material in a familiar manner, yet never really going over old ground and reliving past successes. Mind Hive is a perfect example of a band still able to evolve, explore and do what they do best, which is write really good songs.
Mind Hive is the group’s first newly recorded material since 2017’s stellar Silver/Lead. There’s familiar lyrical themes still, a touch of social commentary, a tinge of political leaning and the expected self exploration, but it’s certainly fresh in its delivery.
With a hint of Killing Joke weaving in and out of an otherwise easy going album opener, it lays the foundation for honestly no idea what direction the following 8 songs will go in. One minute it sounds like Talking Heads, the other it goes unexpectedly heavy. This album is a well thought out and well crafted piece of work, keeping the listener on their toes and there’s a lot of to go back and rediscover here on multiple listens.
“Off The Beach” is old school, jangly and reminiscent of The Jam. “Primed And Ready” is a meaty guitar driven offering more in line with current alt-rock and industrial bands. There’s also a lot of delicate moments on this album which really showcases their song writing ability to keep the listeners attention so focused. Personal favourite is “Unrepentant”; the use of melody and layering in this is just fantastic and is an ambient treat.
Mind Hive is a splendid album, and one I would encourage anyone to explore. Regardless of your preference as a listener, there is some gold in here to find and embrace.