519: chairs missing | wire
Jeffrey Terich (below) believes it to be a better record than their debut Pink Flag. I get it, but I believe Flag is just a hair better. The more I listen to Chairs, the more I like it. It’s kinda a masterpiece.
JEFFREY TERICH at Stereogum: To listen to Pink Flag and Chairs Missing back to back, it seems remarkable that these albums were even made by the same band. Chairs Missing still has the unmistakable voice of Colin Newman, and the same arty, expressionist approach to songwriting that adamantly avoided conventional pop structures (though there are a few more recognizable choruses here). But instrumentally and atmospherically, this is a big step into an entirely new territory.
On Chairs Missing, Wire push themselves a lot farther into the avant garde than they had before. Certainly, Pink Flag is about as strange as a punk album can get without stepping out of the punk aesthetic, but Chairs Missing is an art-rock album played two minutes at a time, at 160 BPMs. A few of the tracks sound like the Wire of old: the stomping "From the Nursery," the bright and jittery "Sand In My Joints," and the hard-rocking closing number, "Too Late." But the real beauty of Chairs Missing is hearing what happens when Wire dials up the weirdness, and that weirdness is really something to behold.