Wire: Mind Hive Review

This kind of took long and kind of didn’t.

It took longer than I hoped, but most of it came together over a few lazy hours.

I knocked out a whole lot of notes one day last week, then scrapped most of them when I was re-writing the notes today.

I think the review is a bit on the short side. Perhaps it’s a bit too much of a summary, if that makes sense.

Along with most of my review and interview work, this review is also on Culture Eater.
My colleague and I set up a Patreon to further develop Culture Eater as a source of good quality arts coverage from both ourselves and our contributors.

We’re looking at what we can give to supporters as we don’t want to set up a one way relationship, so suggestions are welcome. Podcast Eater is one of the things we’ve got going. We’ve recently switch to weekly releases and soon will be giving the patrons a bit more.

Please consider supporting, or at least sharing the Patreon page with others. Please also check out what our wonderful contributors are contributing.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy.

”It’s Nothing New / Hungry Cats / Getting fatter minds and thinner ideas” Colin Newman rigidly states on Mind Hive‘s opener “Be Like Them”. Much like the rest of the album’s lyrics, both these and the following lines come off as quite serious, critical and occasionally bleak. It also matches the music’s robotic sound quite well.

Some of the other songs sound more “pop”, some are more relaxed, and some go for a hard edge. There’s a bit of a mix, but overall Mind Hive is textually familiar in the way that makes it feel like it belongs to the past few Wire albums. In a way this one carries a strong sense of familiarity, but it still has its own identity.

The lyrics do kind of also move around a bit, though they often sound overtly serious more than they don’t. Either way there’s a lot of critical, heavy stuff that feels like it’s about now as well as the future. A lot of it comes off as pretty downbeat, though not all of it is obvious at first. Sometimes it takes a bit for the conjured imagery to become apparent, but it’s still appreciable that way; The direct stuff works, but the stuff that takes longer to dawn often becomes more striking.

As far as Mind Hive‘s flow goes… well, it flows pretty well. The first few songs are pretty punchy, “Primed and Ready” shifts into the bouncy “Off the Beach” quite well despite the two sounding rather different. The album then relaxes a bit for the slower and more laid-back “Unrepentant” and “Shadows”. From here it seems the relaxing will continue. Instead the obliquely-worded, overtly dark-sounding “Oklahoma” brings the album back to a less relaxed pace.

The following “Hung” is one of the more traditionally grand songs Wire have done, It’s big, wide and ominous, and like many of the other songs on Mind Hive has a dark undertone. It’s a song that starts off pretty small and seems to keep on growing for a while. Its sound development and steady,

“Hung” almost connects with the closing organ-driven “Humming”, which might just be the album’s most effective song.

Mind Hive is overall generally pretty solid. Aside from it belonging a little too much to the past few albums and the production not doing the songs justice, Wire still put in a good effort. There’s a sense of impact that comes through the album that doesn’t become overbearing; it’s just enough. However “Hung” is where the band deliver the album’s emotional gut punch. The vocals draw out most of the words just enough to make them felt. The imagery comes through much more clearly and the music carries a sense of mourning. It’s a song that, more so than the rest of the album, is wholly and utterly the sum of its parts.

Maybe Wire were in mourning when they made this album. Maybe not. It’s clear though that they still want to make sure their music works; They want to still get what they want to say across in an effective manner. Mind Hive might have a few issues, but it’s an effective album.

Mind Hive is available here.

About Stupidity Hole

I'm some guy that does stuff. Hoping to one day fill the internet with enough insane ramblings to impress a cannibal rat ship. I do more than I probably should. I have a page called MS Paint Masterpieces that you may be interested in checking out. I also co-run Culture Eater, an online zine for covering the arts among other things. We're on Patreon!
This entry was posted in Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.