Name: Live Wire
Album: Changes Made
Year: 1981Style: Garage/Pub Rock
Similar Bands: Records, Dire Straits, Sniff n' the Tears, J Geils Band
"One-Word" Review: Rock Elements Template
Based Out Of: Netherlands
Label: A&M Records
Changes Made- Cover & Record
Changes Made - Back & Record
- Child's Eye 4:16
- Don't Look Now 3:04
- Sleep 4:06
- Changes Made 3:49
- Soundtrack 3:37/
- Anarchists in Love 3:24
- Power 3:28
- Running 4:05
- Burn 4:57
- Wait in the Shadows 3:58
Album Rating (1-10): 7.0
Members & Other Bands:
Michael Ross - Art Direction
Jeremy Meek - Bass, Synth, Vox
Blood Brothers - Wrapper Design
German Gonzales - Drums, Percussion
Mike Edwards - Guitar, Vox
Simaen Skolfield - Engineer
Simon Boswell - Guitar, Keys, Vox, Producer (Advertising)
Michael Owen - Photography
John Irish Earle - Sax
Frank DeLuna - Mastering
Michael Cole - Management
Unknown-ness: I’ve never heard of this band. I like the gritty polarized photograph on the cover with high intensity color scheme, juxtaposed against a calm b/w scene on the back. But wait…a crooked lamp post…where is this going? I picked up the record in a pound bin in England, just eager to buy anything that was cheap, unknown, and looked interesting. Heck, I don’t even know if the band is British, since the addresses are split between Los Angeles and London. So via the name and the cover, I’m guessing they are going to be high intensity guitar rock.
Album Review: “Child's Eye” rushes to rock. And what comes out at first reminds me of a combination of Kiss Arena Rock and sitcom theme music. The progression slows down a little, but the song reveals a jittery, nasally voice singing a melody similar to Big Star. The chorus to the song is weaved into the verse, never really standing on its own, with a multiple voice harmony. The end faded out with guitars rocking on their own & the title/chorus repeating on occasion.
“Don't Look Now” begins with a near-ear piercingly high pitch guitar hook, which is revisited through out the song. The chorus is reached relatively quickly with a very sing-songy, sway melody. This is a middle-paced rock song with no exhaustive energy, but it is still fun.
“Sleep” begins quietly with psychedelic flutes. Then it changes gears with a chugging, driving guitar that promises a build to a rocking release. The release is catchy, but not as rewarding as it should be. The composition feels very simple with not many chord changes or diversion from its path since the song kicked in. There is a near-reggae breakdown a little over halfway through the song, which somehow finds its way back into the chorus, which plays out through the rest of the song to fade out.
“Changes Made” starts as a funky bass only groove. Then drums and guitars are added in, and the song stumbles along with lots of breaks. The bridge into the chorus reminds me of a later period XTC song I can’t pinpoint right now (maybe a Colin song?). The song never really shifts into gear, as it constantly feels like it is a work in progress.
“Soundtrack” is a honky-tonk pop song. When the chorus section comes on, it kicks in with a back beat drum hook that reminds me of Paper & Iron (also by XTC). The chorus is just a harmonic uttering of the title over and over, somewhat like an alarm going off, punctuating a verse of spoken word vocals.
“Anarchists in Love” is where my record must have begun skipping, because the beginning of the song skips right into the bridge into the chorus. It has a very swaggery nasally-ness that reminds me of the Rolling Stones. The chorus, which is just a down measure singing of the title, feels lazy, and passionless; much less than what the title would suggest. The song would be a fun sing-a-long at a live show, as the chorus/lyrics repeat over and over, and I could see the crowd chanting along to & back with to the band.
“Power” a simple off rhythm drum beat starts this pub rock song, featuring riffing electric guitar and drunken vocals. This could be a bluesy J Geils band song. Again, this song never really clicks into gear, it kinds sulks along haphazardly.
“Running” starts off with a steady ricking tempo, is followed up with a solid, Rolling Stones like verse, but is set back by the staggered, slowed down chorus, as if the song is going over speed bumps. It picks up whenever it is not in chorus mode, like the instrumental section is fun, but gets hindered by the chorus
“Burn” is a very groovy fun song. It starts off with a short musical section that leads right into the catchy (and perhaps a little childish sounding) chorus. I’d almost consider this a jam-band song, with the bouncy bass and repetitive hooks that could easily be played with improvised free flowing instrumentation at shows. But the bold, passionate verse that follows the chorus is solid, and is as favorable to look forward to as the chorus is, so over all, even with its near stand still breakdowns and jam-band qualities, is a fine song. There are enough differences and layers as the song nears its end to keep it interesting, all the while keeping the same hypnotizing hook and repetitive use of “burn.”
“Wait in the Shadows” begins with some nervous guitar playing, produced in a sly, dark alley way to a pub style, which is exactly what one would expect from the title. The bridge speeds things up and really brings the song together. The first go-round leaves you with a false chorus…where you think the song is going to flow into the chorus, but instead returns to the verse. But the second time, the bridge changes an octave, and staying relatively the same, becomes the chorus, slightly slowed down. There is nice use of a sax in the background that never takes over the song, but is present enough to add to the artistic mystery. The song/album ends with the listener expecting the song to kick back in for one more verse/chorus exchange. But they really took the ideology “leave them wanting more” to heart and stopped the song there.
Stand Out Track: Burn