After the organizers of Record Store Day pushed back their annual event — and a number of release dates along with it — Wire decided to put out 10:20, their upcoming compilation of reworked songs and what they’ve called “strays” from throughout the years, on June 19th.
Although it was originally scheduled to be a vinyl-only release, 10:20 will now get a full release on all formats.
The band is teasing the new release with “The Art of Persistence,” a song they wrote in 2000 following their 1999 reunion. The track was previously available only as a rehearsal room recording, issued on the EP The Third Day, and as a live recording on the album Recycling Sherwood Forest.
Where the EP version (dubbed a “first draft” on the release) sounded like a loose, almost new-wavey exercise, the new, fully mixed version of the song for 10:20 feels more dramatic and, in some ways, sadder. The song’s video features footage filmed at a Manchester gig in January. With the video’s release, the band is asking for donations for the National Independent Venue Association’s “Save Our Stages” campaign, whose goal is to help venues reopen when the time comes.
Singer-guitarist Colin Newman sings about “persistence, survival, test of the wills” over waves of slowly descending riffs. It builds and builds until he starts singing about a total breakdown of communication, ending with: “The last breath is spent.”
The rest of the album contains reworked versions of songs that had fallen by the wayside from throughout the band’s career. In March, they released the 10:20 song “Small Black Reptile,” which previously appeared as an almost reggae-inspired noise-rock song on their 1990 album Manscape. Other tracks include a version of a song they previously demoed for Chairs Missing and songs off A Bell Is a Cup … Until It’s Struck and The Ideal Copy.