By: Ginny Yang
They may have tight pants, skinny ties and shaggy haircuts, but don’t get Black Wire confused with your typical hipsters trying to start a band. The working-class trio from Leeds manages to pull off their dance floor rock without the aid of a drummer. Singer Dan Wilson, guitarist Si McCage, and bassist Tom Greatorex have relied on manic energy and a drum machine to make U.K. bodies sweat for the past two years. Equipped with snarling licks and a reputation for putting on a top-notch live show (the Kaiser Chiefs reportedly wrote the song “I Predict a Riot” about one of the group’s renowned gigs), the rail-thin band traveled through the U.K. with the likes of the Rapture, the Futureheads, Ladytron, the Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, and the Cribs.
Although traces of the Clash, the Specials, Iggy Pop, and Sisters of Mercy appear on Black Wire’s eponymous debut, the British three-piece mostly focuses on delivering distorted and salacious dance-punk ditties. “Take off your clothes,” Wilson yelps on the glowering “Attack! Attack! Attack!” Meanwhile, “Hard to Love, Easy to Lay” contains an infectious sing-along chorus that captures the desperate spirit of every bar during last call. “I’m hard to love / But so easy to lay,” Wilson breezily repeats. Influences ranging from ska (“Promote the Happy Hours”) to electroclash (“The Face”) to rockabilly (“Smoke and Mirrors”) grace tracks devoted to drinking and casual sex. But don’t stand too close to the speakers — Black Wire’s album of fuzzed-out sleaze is sending out sparks.
The band’s stateside debut is out now through Giant Pecker.