There Were Wires

Boston post-hardcore vets There Were Wires are back (stream previously unheard Sonic Youth cover)

Boston band There Were Wires were initially around between 1999 and 2004, having debuted as a metallic hardcore/screamo band on their 2001 self-titled debut LP and that same year’s split with Moment, before slowing down and going in a doomier direction on their second and final album, 2003’s Somnambulists. They shared stages with Mastodon, Converge, and The Dillinger Escape Plan and toured with Daughters and Zombi, and after breaking up, multiple members went on to form Disappearer and bassist/vocalist Jebb Riley formed Doomriders with Converge’s Nate Newton.

Both of their albums were released on Boston label Iodine Recordings, which shuttered in 2003 after Somnambulists‘ release, but Iodine is now back for the first time in 17 years, and their first release will be a remastered, expanded reissue of Somnambulists (it’s a co-release with Tor Johnson Records). The album’s getting released in “grand vinyl format” for the first time and it features new album artwork and a previously unreleased cover of Sonic Youth‘s “Tunic.” We’re premiering that cover, which is a genuinely great reworking of an all-time classic song and fits in perfectly with the original material on Somnambulists. There Were Wires make it their own without losing the appeal of the original; it’s not easy to pull off a Sonic Youth cover, but they did it.

Here’s some background on Somnambulists, the reissue, and the Sonic Youth cover, from the band:

There Were Wires was not a band with a huge catalog of material, as most of our collective time and energy was usually reserved for playing shows. Studio recording was a different beast from the chaos of a live setting, one where all that beautiful explosivity is confined and filtered in a fussy, controlled environment. Somnambulists is a record that was written and recorded over seventeen years ago, and It was the first time the band worked with a producer, who helped shape the tracks into a cohesive album with well-constructed songs that were considerably longer than anything we had ever written previously. This record remains one of the things in our lives that we are collectively most proud of. Somnambulists was not only a dramatic departure from the punchy abruptness of our earlier sound, but it was an inadvertently dark record, as well. Much of this had to do with us maturing as musicians and writers, but it was also a product of an overall ‘heaviness’ in our lives.

Shortly after Somnambulists was released in 2003, Iodine Recordings announced their abrupt closing due to financial issues. This resulted in the album never getting the proper promotion or attention it needed to get in hands or ears of potential fans. We did a tour to support the record but decided to call it quits shortly after. In 2017, Casey from Iodine Recordings and Paul from Tor Johnson Records started talks about doing this reissue together in a way that would give it a new life. We spent the following years searching for masters, refining the artwork, and re-mastering the audio to make it something special. We decided to use all the audio from the studio sessions to fill out the album, including our Sonic Youth cover.

‘Tunic’ appealed to us on several levels. It’s such a great track and it featured many elements that we were bringing into our songwriting at the time. From the uplifting yet heart-wrenching lyrics, to the steady, head-nodding groove, to the dreamy noise interlude… it’s so moody and heavy. Plus, it added an extra level of ghostly strangeness with Jaime singing Kim Gordon’s lyrical interpretation of Karen Carpenter’s disembodied voice.”

Listen to the cover, along with the remastered “His Talk, Her Teeth,” below. Pre-orders are available now via Iodine, Tor Johnson, Deathwish, and RevHQ (and in Europe via Plastic Head and Coretex).

There Were Wires are also promising reunion shows for late 2021/early 2022, “whenever regular touring safely resumes across the country.”

Iodine Recordings is also promising “additional backcatalog reissue titles and other new signings and releases.” Stay tuned!

1. New Doom
2. His Talk, Her Teeth
3. Walking
4. Get Cryptic
5. Waking
6. Black Magic Rabbit
7. Gasp
8. Tunic (Sonic Youth cover)

Sonic Youth Album Guide