There’s a consistent theme running through the first three albums by Wire. It’s a sense that you’re in a situation that’s fundamentally f–ked-up and you’re suddenly realizing that there’s no escape … that you’re being sucked into some inevitable horrific conclusion. The terror isn’t always explicitly spelled out, but it sounds like the worst “Oh s-t!” moment of your life.
This particular song is the lead-off track from their third album, 1979’s “154,” the least heralded of their first three albums, but one that has grown on me tremendously over the years. As much as I revere “Chairs Missing” (the second one), “154” feels colder, more despairing. My favorite post-punk band, even besting Public Image Ltd. and Joy Division.