Jetsam-Flotsam and One Percent Press partnered up to release the new album from Ithaca, NY’s why+the+wires, title Flame Failures. In anticipation of the album’s release tomorrow (November 6th), we’re excited to bring you the the exclusive stream of the entire album (listen below)!
Guitarist David Nutt comments:
“When we started to write the songs for this record, I suffered a brief delusion that we would make a pretentious prog-fueled concept album revolving around an apocalyptic plague of analogue addiction,” says singer and guitarist, David Nutt. “I envisioned housewives barricaded in the basement with ham radios, children sniffing fresh vinyl fumes and wet celluloid, rabid junkies hugging old tube Zeniths in the street. It was beautiful, really. But the songs we ended up writing were all short burners, punk not prog, and not exactly concept album fare. The idea died on the drawing board, thank god. But there remains a soft residue that clings to the songs, a shadow narrative. These are sickness hymns, odes to broken bodies and rusted turntables, snuffed hungers, stalled signals, foolish ideas—and ideals—that decay but never die.”
Since forming in Ithaca, NY in 2008, why+the+wires has been delivering a dynamic post-punk frenzy that gets more focused with every album. The songs are tight-wound, angular affairs, moody yet melodic. Rough-throated gospels, shambling shout-alongs, insistent rave-ups and brooding instrumental stretches. Their influences are best pinpointed by geography: San Diego, Chicago, Washington, D.C. Comparisons have ranged from Hot Snakes and Sweep the Leg Johnny to Archers of Loaf and June of 44.
Over the last six years why+the+wires has released three albums, beginning with 2009’s Lost Lighthouses, a somber drone-drenched introduction that was enlivened with accordion, saxophone and violin. By 2011’s Telegraph Flats the volume was increasing and the song structures had splintered. All These Dead Astronauts, released on Rorschach Records in 2012, shed the violin altogether as the group pared down to a four-piece and ramped up the intensity while also adding a dose of mathy intricacy.
Flame Failures reins in that mathy meandering, clenches the muscles, files down the teeth. It is the band’s most ear-blasted, urgent album yet. The songs are set in dank basements, abandoned movie theaters and quarantine tents. They are populated by the walking wounded: epileptic kleptomaniacs, anxious citizens, noise addicts serenaded by radio static. It is soundtrack for those who have been ravaged by reality, depressed by history, the beaten but not quite broken; those of us who have not surrendered yet.