In the wake of the lackluster Manscape and The First Letter in the early '90s, many had no doubt already prepared a mental epitaph for Wire. But that was before the explosive Read & Burn EP series and resulting album, Send, made the band not only relevant but vital once again. Those hoping for a continuation perhaps should have known better; throughout their 30-plus-year career, Wire have rarely been ones to dwell, and Object 47, the band's 11th studio album, continues their chameleonic tradition. The blunt, guitar-driven aggression of the early aughts has now given way to a percussive, synth-laden sound. It's tempting to interpret Object as something of a retreat, suggested not only by the more mannered musical approach but by the lead single's lyrical resignation as well ("Are you an also-ran, finished and inconsequential?"). But there's an intensity embedded in these songs that belies such facile readings. White flags, after all, hardly suit them. 18+.
Fri., Oct. 17, 8 p.m., 2008