HIGH TENSION WIRES- "Welcome New Machine" LP
3rd album from Dirtnap Records North Texas super-group! The current lineup of High Tension Wires features Mike Wiebe (Riverboat Gamblers), Mark Ryan (Marked Men/Mind Spiders), Chris Pulliam (The Reds), plus Daniel Fried and Greg Rutherford (both of the just-signed-to-Dirtnap The Bad Sports, the live incarnation of The Mind Spiders, and way too many other Denton bands to mention). Past lineups have included Jeff Burke and Mike Throneberry of The Marked Men. High Tension Wires originally started as an on-again-off-again recording project. Mark Ryan gave us a copy of their unfinished demo to listen to at a Marked Men show in Minneapolis in 2004, saying he didn't know if or when the recordings would ever be completed. We here at Dirtnap were so blown away that upon returning home to the NW we gave 'em a call and said that if they got themselves back in the studio and finished the recordings, we'd put it out as-is. At the time, the band had never even played a show. Those recording became their debut LP, Send A Message, a classic example of Scared-Of-Chaka-esque snappy punk/pop. In 2006 they followed that up with Midnight Cashier, a slightly darker, weirder, less straightforward take on things. Now 2011 brings us Welcome New Machine, a perfect synthesis of their previous 2 albums. Rocks as hard as Send A Message, while incorporating the nuances they began developing on Midnight Cashier. A fair amount of ground is covered here, from the Marked Men's trademark choppy pop sound to straightforward punk, to darker-edged postpunk, some new-wavey bits, and an absolutely stunning Teengenerate-style garagepunk ripper sung by Mark Ryan, all capped off by Mike Wiebe's seemingly endless font of unusual, interesting lyrics. This is by far their best album yet, and coming from us, that is saying a lot!