Some releases shine like a beacon attracting ears like moths to a flame. One such lure for us is the new album from UK synth pop outfit Nature of Wires. Almost straddling every decade of its prime genre whilst teasing of future exploration but most openly seeded in eighties influence, the album proved a swift magnet of sound and temptation firmly commanding current attention.
Formed in 1986 by vocalist Andrew Stirling-Brown and synthist/programmer Gary Watts, the Herefordshire band followed the 1993 release of their debut album, Modus Operandi, by going on hiatus the following year until reforming in 2015. A year later the band unveiled their second album, Cyber Rendezvous, with CountessM on lead vocals and now the band has Modus to tempt the imagination, a collection of songs which harken back to those early years having been written between 1986 and 1993 but carrying a modern edge though being “recreated using 21st century technology.” It is also a dual album in one package, with a second CD featuring re-imaginings of the release’s tracks from an array of inspiring artists.
Straight away Modus embraces ears like an old friend yet just as quickly establishes a presence and character which is solely Nature of Wires. As soon as opener Feel the Hunger spreads its electronic arms, there is no escaping teases to the likes of Erasure, Heaven 17, and Blancmange but the song quickly breeds its own individuality in sound and enterprise led by the alluring tones of Stirling-Brown. Striking melodies are fuelled by infectiousness whilst rhythms as good as nag with their eager canter. Fair to say we were caught up in the song’s contagion in short time, vocal chords and body swings adding to its own eager endeavours.
Time is Come steps up next, again its initial coaxing shadow lined before bursting out with radiant melodies and vocal encouragement. Equally keen pulses core the lively croon with the song’s gait and energy as bold as it is spirited, a whiff of A Flock Of Seagulls only adding to the song’s infectious captivation before Negative Resolutions emerges with a darkwave breath, bubbles of pop soon joining the tempting before synths weave a tapestry of melodic intimation over an electro grumble. When its poppiness catches the song infested the body while its darker melancholic calmer moments are alone pure fascination.
Through the crystalline design and dark throb of Seagull and the reflective heatwave of Every Single Sun, captivation with Modus only escalated, the first a spirited seduction and its successor a weave of melodic flames and balmy caresses while Harry’s House eclipsed both with its creative drama and dance-floor animation.
It in turn was slightly outshine by Madame Serena, a song with electro rock essences which reminded of bands such as Original Mirrors and Modern English whilst hinting at the pop instincts of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. With emotive shadows and a great lining of dark threat, the track soon rises as another unique Nature of Wires temptation very easy to greedily devour.
The first CD closes with the immediately enthralling First Light, a song bringing yet another shade of flavour and enterprise to the album with its rich entangle of electronic and electro rock hues. Bringing the release to a potent close if not quite igniting the passions as those before it, though ears and imagination were firmly in its charge all the same, it potently concludes the first adventure of the release before Modus turns to the second.
CD 2 embraces that collection of remixes and re-imaginings of its songs starting with the Atomzero Nightlife Remix of Feel the Hunger. Given a darker almost tenebrific air, the track takes on a whole new persona as it does with the NoW AT4 version which takes it to the opposite light with equally enjoyable effect.
Among the host of truthfully ear pleasing encounters, the untamed rock ‘n’ roll brought to Time is Come by The Cowls, the dramatic theatre sparked within the Klammer Remix of Harry’s House, and Leaether Strip’s voraciously virulent trespass of Madame Serena especially caught the imagination. Fair to say though that Cyferdyne’s Glass Half Full Remix of Negative Resolutions, Workings of a Madman Remix of Seagull, the St Lucifer reworking of Every Single Sun as well as the Mesh Remix of First Light and Room 1985’s progressive rock interpretation of Time is Come all left pleasure rich.
And that is a declaration which tenaciously applies to Modus as a whole, a release to hungrily spend time with as we eagerly await the next chapter and exploration in the adventure of Nature of Wires.
Modus is released August 16th through Analogue Trash across most stores and @ https://natureofwires.bandcamp.com/album/modus
Upcoming Live Dates
Sep 20 BERLIN – The Mazen (with The Pink Diamond Revue, LegPuppy & e-bit)
Sep 21 LEIPZIG – Noch Besser Leben (with The Pink Diamond Revue & LegPuppy)
Oct 12 COLOGNE, Germany – Wachsfabrik (with Bandmachine)
Oct 18 BIRMINGHAM – The Mill, Digbeth (with Among the Echoes & Toyah)
Nov 8 BIRMINGHAM – Scruffy Murphy’s (with Vieon, Among the Echoes & Vain Machine)
Nov 9 LONDON – Beat:Cancer Festival 2.0, Electrowerkz
Pete RingMaster 16/08/2019
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