Wire's chameleonlike transcendence of the post-punk cannon has always employed a militant policy of don't look back. That is, until the Read & Burn EPs materialized a quarter-century into the group's career. R&B 03 cuts the losses of Wire's spotty catalog of angular grooves and new-wave rubbish with a condensed hybrid of its many faces. Such Frankensteinian songcraft culminates in the alternating slow keyboard drones and staccato drumming of opening number "23 Years Too Late."
"Our Time" and "Desert Driving" expand into a slower, darker drift. This is the first peep we've heard from Wire in five years, and the time spent behind closed doors has served the group well. Read & Burn 03 is a captivating forerunner to whatever the group has in store, and all signs point to something much darker on the horizon.