Classic Day – 21 Gun Salute


The beauty of early punk and alternative records is the message being packed into quick, almost blazing tracks that can be formed into this Voltron team effort to convey 21 tracks over 35 minutes. The first record by Wire holds Pink Flag at this isolated reference point that artists like Minor Threat and Henry Rollins would eventually cover, but are the first wave of truly influential sound into an Earth-shattering genre.

The quadruple headed group from Bruce Gilbert on the guitar, Graham Lewis on both bass and backing vocals, Colin Newman on the guitar and vocals, and then finishing with Robert Gotobed on the percussion, Wire is brilliant in its simplicity. Nothing on Pink Flag will astonish for its deep and profound playstyle but will coincide within this level of catchy pop that blends with more grunge, almost creating a cutting-edge performance throughout the record. Opening with “Reuters” which forces this build-up and subtlety, transferring into an embankment of fleshed-out sound and walls of amplified noise.

“Reuters” is an important initial look through dusted garage lenses where Wire is nearly militant with these grunts as backing vocals while the instrumental slows and begins to die like a patient’s heartbeat. Although reminiscent of its United Kingdom roots, the vocals are a glimmering dash of spice that continues to be played in the listener’s mind even after the record hits the final track.

Pieces like “Mannequin” or even “Fragile” are defined and destined to be sung in the car with these choruses seemingly built upon the foundation of gleamy instrumental undertones and quotable necessity. Every single time that the track “Mannequin” flashes its two-minutes and thirty-seven seconds on Pink Flag, the chorus begs to be danced to and awfully sung with as onlookers stare. The chorus and rephrase which consists of just the simple, but effective words, “Tell me, why don’t you tell me, La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la .” Perhaps it can be effective because the chorus also features some backing singing of these warm builds that encapsulate the listener into this cocoon of swells and gentle let-downs.

Some of the final moments spent with Wire on Pink Flag is sculpted through four tracks that together, all cover varying styles and sounds before dissipating into ambiguity. While 1977 was the first time that Pink Flag would hit the physical streets, Wire would slowly work its way into the ears through covers and influences that are still brought to a new audience even nearly 45 years later.

Listen To Pink Flag Here!!! – Spotify/Amazon/iTunes

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