Probably their best album
H. Jin | Melbourne, Australia | 12/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'Chairs Missing' is yet another of those unfortunate "transitional" albums, that tend to get somewhat overlooked. 'Pink Flag' was a punk classic, and '154' widely acknowledged as a post-punk masterpiece, but 'Chairs Missing' sometimes falls between the cracks a bit. But this is arguably their best album, certainly it's their most diverse, retaining the energy of their debut while incorporating synths, studio effects and different shades of production.
There are a few energetic punk anthems worthy of 'Pink Flag' here; 'Men 2nd', 'From the Nursery', the proto-noise-rock 'Sand In My Joints' and the frenetic closer 'Too Late'. Elsewhere, the songs and arrangements are much more ambitious. The highlights are the defiant punk/pop declaration 'I Am The Fly', and the suprisingly sunny pop of 'Outdoor Miner'. 'Heartbeat' and the opener 'Practice Makes Perfect' are unsettling slow-burns, while 'Marooned', 'French Film Blurred' and 'Used To' are more subdued and accessible. The centrepiece 'Mercy' mixes punk attitude with an art-rock arrangement, while 'Another The Letter' sounds like a three-way marraige of punk, synthpop and psychadelia.
And it all works. There's not one mis-step or awkward moment here. The raw punk songs still hit hard, and the ambitious tracks never sound bloated or pretentious. And despite all the diversity, the album fits together as a whole quite well, because Wire sound so comfortable no matter what they're doing.
A great album from an legendary band in top form. Five stars."
One of the most influential records of the past thirty years
Robert Darlington | Baltimore, MD USA | 04/30/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are some records that changed my life forever, and Chairs Missing is one of them. I first heard this record when it came to this country as a U.K. import over thirty years ago, and it is still as fantastic to me now as it was then. It certainly pointed me in a different direction and showed me the possibilities of what a band could be and do. From the moment I heard it, I was off down a new road, and I've never looked back. Sadly underrated, do yourself a favor and get this incredible album by an amazing band that was truly decades ahead of its time. It is wonderful to have this record on my iPod. And don't forget Pink Flag and 154, Wire's other great records that are required listening for lovers of modern music. Happy listening. Cheers, Robert Darlington (Singer/songwriter and guitarist for Translator)"