Album 0395: XTC – Drums And Wires


Release Date: 1979
Genre: New Wave/Rock


1. Making Plans For Nigel (04:14)
2. Helicopter (03:55)
3. Day In Day Out (03:08)
4. When You’re Near Me I Have Difficulty (03:22)
5. Ten Feet Tall (03:17)
6. Roads Girdle The Globe (04:51)
7. Reel By Reel (03:47)
8. Millions (05:39)
9. That Is The Way (02:57)
10. Outside World (02:41)
11. Scissor Man (04:00)
12. Complicated Game (05:05)
13. Life Begins At The Hop (03:49)
14. Chain Of Command (02:34)
15. Limelight (02:27)

Total Length: 55:45

Making Plans For Nigel is an insanely strong song to start off the album. It’s fun, catchy, and very memorable. The lyrics get stuck in your head, and you just groove along. The only downside is their experiment with delay, and it’s not the last time they do it on the album. Helicopter is a lot of fun as well, it’s fast and kind of crazy. It’s also very British and almost funny to me in that regard, but I don’t let it affect my opinion of the song in this instance.

Day In Day Out is kind of boring at points and has some really weird choices with the rhythm of certain guitar parts. It’s not the worst song on here, but ehh. When You’re Near Me I Have Difficulty has a couple of neat moments in it but otherwise is a single hook dragged out too much. Ten Feet Tall is decent, but I don’t really feel the song is given the right treatment, all of the backing feels lazy.

Roads Girdle The Globe is funky and cool. I really like the opening, and some of the vocals work well. The song just goes on a tad bit long. Reel By Reel is almost fun but sort of generic. It just doesn’t do much for me. Millions has the strangest guitar riff, it just sounds slightly off time, like they wanted to do something weird but didn’t go the whole way. It’s just a weird song overall but not in a fun, quirky way, more of a “what did I just listen to?” way.

That Is The Way is a decent song, but forgettable. The best part is the trumpet solo. Outside World is fast and fairly fun. (Alliteration!) It also doesn’t wear out its welcome at all. Scissor Man is one of the best tracks on here, the intro is amazing. If they messed around with bits like that more often, I would straight up love this album. This is a strong song though, and the ending is nice and upbeat too.

Complicated Game is some good ideas completely trashed by execution. The vocals are terrible, I have no idea what they were thinking. The whole song is ruined by it, on top of its slow pacing. Life Begins At The Hop is alright, but feels like, I don’t know, pandering? There’s just something off about it but it’s not terrible. Chain Of Command has a neat synth riff in it, but that’s all I ever remember from it. Limelight is a decent song, but really nothing special. I want to like this album, but it mostly annoys me. There are some great moments, but those aren’t the ones they seem to emphasize.

Final Rating: 6.5/10


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