Album Review: Why+The+Wires – Flame Failures

Why+The+Wires – Flame FailuresI can guarantee you won’t listen to another band this week that sounds remotely like Ithaca, NY’s Why+The+Wires.

Even though reference points come thick and fast (31 Knots, Constantines and Titus Andronicus stand out for me), ‘Flame Failures’ never sounds like the re-invention of a sound or a re-telling of a story, and it’s with this spirited individuality that Why+The+Wires have managed to craft something that really warrants your time and attention.

The first thing you’ll notice is the woozy instrumentation, including saxophone and accordion – it creates an unhinged noise that borders on cacophonic chaos. It’s thrilling stuff, especially when teamed with Dave Nutt’s rich gravelly tones. In fact, he does a more than passable impression of Tom Waits and that is never, ever a bad thing. Or, if you like your comparisons more rocking, Chuck Ragan. He could read an a la carte menu and make it sound like it was caked in dirt and detritus, such is the lived-in quality. But it helps to add an authenticity to their sound that is truly astonishing.

They’ve also got some serious chops when it comes to arranging their songs too. Take, for example, the outstanding‘Seizure Party’. A near on five minute epic, is starts all incidental and frayed before developing into this raging torrent by its conclusion.

If you’re tired of all the identikit post-hardcore and post-punk bands and want something a bit more challenging and exciting, you could do far worse than giving ‘Flame Failures’ a spin.


‘Flame Failures’ by Why+The+Wires is out now on Jetsam-Flotsam and One Percent Press.

Why+The+Wires links: Facebook|

Words by Rob Mair (@BobNightMair)


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