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Hear Wire’s Gentle Reworking of 30-Year-Old Song ‘Small Black Reptile’

Track will appear on band’s upcoming vinyl-only release, 10:20

Less than two months have passed since progressive post-punk trailblazers Wire put out their most recent album, Mind Hive, and they’ve already slated the release of another LP.

The band will issue the vinyl-only 10:20 on Record Store Day, April 18th, and they’re previewing it with the surprisingly serene reworking of the song “Small Black Reptile,” which originally appeared on their 1990 album Manscape.

The group built the track up with an easy drumbeat, synthy-sounding guitar and Colin Newman’s relaxed-sounding vocals. It’s deceptive because a lot of the lyrics seem to be Dada-esque free-thought association like, “Room for a big fish, a crack of whips/Demander of service and generous tips.” But it’s the way it blends together so gently that makes it interesting, especially considering the original was a noisy, reggae-inspired experiment in art rock.

The album consists of reworkings of songs from the band’s past as well as tracks they consider “strays,” ones that didn’t fit onto albums. The recordings include a new version of A Bell Is a Cup … Until It’s Struck’s “Boiling Boy,” a tune the band demoed around the time of Chairs Missing (“Underwater Experiences”), and The Ideal Copy’s “Over Theirs,” among others. The first side of the LP was recorded in 2010 with an expanded lineup of the band that included Laika’s Margaret Fielder on guitar, and the second side was cut by the group’s current membership.

The band is touring the East Coast now and will be hitting the West Coast this fall.

10:20 Tracklist

Side A

1. “Boiling Boy”
2. “German Shepherds”
3. “He Knows”
4. “Underwater Experiences”

Side B

1. “The Art of Persistence”
2. “Small Black Reptile”
3. “Wolf Collides”
4. “Over Theirs”

Wire North American Tour Dates

March 11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
March 12 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
March 13 – Boston, MA @ Sinclair
March 14 – Ottawa, ON @ Bronson Centre
March 16 – Toronto, ON @ Great Hall
March 18 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda
October 8 – Victoria, BC @ Capital Ballroom
October 9 – Vancouver, BC @ Imperial
October 10 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
October 11 – Portland, OR @ Star Theater
October 13 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
October 15 – Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up
October 16  – Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent
October 17 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Crescent Ballroom
October 18 – Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole