Song: "Map Ref. 41°N 93°W"
This high-strung track is from the London band’s 1979 release154 - their third album, named after the number of gigs the band had played live up to that point. Wire came onto the UK scene as enigmatic post-punk auteurs with a penchant for obscure themes and unconventional song structures. The energy and instrumentation is punk, but the quartet’s intellectual conceits are more difficult to categorize. A driving beat and gnarly guitar attack are the engines driving a certain fascination here with cartography - think of it as the ephemeral place where maps and poetry clash together. Angular, aggressive, yet twee and insular - it’s a very peculiar combination. The ragged vein of pulsing electricity unites the disparate elements, gives the song an inexplicable shimmer. By the way, the map coordinates in the title are said to represent the geographic heart of America. Centreville, Iowa and Wire - go figure.