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Red Barked Tree

Wire
PINK FLAG

Some theories of the universe hold that objects traveling away from each other eventually will stand side by side. Wire has provided a case in point, musically speaking, by mixing brainy punk rampages with tight exercises in noise-pop, and minimalism with ambient psychedelia. Colin Newman has been the figure at the front of these diverse exercises in savage artistry and cult-cool for nigh on a third of a century; here, he’s operating with Graham Lewis and Robert Grey as a trio, which worked well for 2008’s Object 47. But their newest set isn’t as consistent in quality. Opener “Please Take” (as in, take your knife out of my back) is a fetching little kiss-off, and the closing title track holds calm and tension in captivating balance. But the in-between stretch gets samey, with only a couple of good post-punk blasts (“Two Minutes”) maintaining a level of interest that’s fitting to the legacy of this classic act.