Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Equivalent to a face only a mother could love
Said Head | MN, USA | 12/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the album only die-hard fans could love, or hear without cringing. T&S is compiled from 5 separate performances by Wire, some missing for years. Given the poor quality of some tracks and the poorer quality of others this compilation feels very incohesive, and even maniacal if not taken as it is: missing tapes that the band originally had little desire to release. With that said this CD is easy to ignore for some, but all the more precious for those interested in taking in more of Wire's creative live performances, not to mention the history of some of these tracks which've been re-recorded by the Wire collective's side/solo projects.
1 and 2, the first installment of tracks, are from the Dame Hall, London affair. As with the majority of that performace as heard on Document and Eyewitness (1-7 on the CD release), these songs are more conventionally structured, much unlike the shoe-gazing madness of the Electric Ballroom. They're nothing special, but the sound quality is good enough to be able to hear them without getting a headache, which is great.
3, A Pandemanian Craze? is a strange and ambient 16 minute barrage of evolving sounds. The quality is low as it comes from bootlegged material, but while there's a lot of hiss the song doesn't lose much, umm, grandure, from that quality. Not immediately accessible for fans of Wire's more straight-forward work, this track is great for the Dome lover.
Tracks 4-6 are perhaps as horrible a quality as anyone would allow to be released while still retaining dignity. They're distorted, hissing, and just plain ugly recordings, but that's part of the charm. None of these few pieces which were never to be heard of again are not particularily bad, just badly presented. The liner notes state that the quality was improved upon, which makes me really wonder at the original sound these had.
7-10 I've been waiting to hear these selections for a long time. Completing the EB performance, these tracks are either to be loved or hated. I was honestly a little disappointed though; this recording of Inventory falls flatter than the version released on Newman's A-Z, and Ritual View is a messy garage band version compared to Dome's re-recording. A PArt Of Our History isn't bad, fits right into the rest of the performance, while 12XU is to be missed.
11-12 strange reinterpretations of Our Swimmer. I personally really like this song, and to hear it represented in the way Wire's Drill was is great. Second Length is a much faster performance of the track, feels much heavier and could've fit well into Wire's early catalogue. Catapult 30 is a weird ambient mix of some sort which takes various samples of the original track. This'll probably disturb small children with its eerie vocals and inhuman noises. Being the only tracks recorded with proper equipment, they come as refreshing after the first 10 tracks.
Overall some very lackluster tracks, but worth hearing at least once. Despite my disappointments with this collection, I'm compelled to give an honest 5 stars for this is a unique release with some rather under-rated material. And at 53 minutes it holds up well as a compilation, though I'm sure there are many more little lost gems out there waiting for their turn to shine."
The old is the new again
Daniel E. Kost | Philadelphia, PA | 10/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For the most part this rare collection has it's hits and misses..first of all, like Crass, the Bootleg, it's for the obsessed fan..so take it as it is..mostly raw live recordings with a smattering of demos, this record covers mostly unreleased material..key tracks are Safe, 12xU, an early live version of Our Swimmer, and Inventory. You won't find much that sounds like Pink Flag, Chairs Missing but closer to 154 and later 80's material.."