Formed in Ithaca, New York in 2008, Why+The+Wires is an unruly mixture of saxophone, accordion, chiming guitars and jittery rhythms, all held together by a tuneful, post-punk frenzy. The songs are tight-wound, nonlinear affairs. Angular but not coldly mathematical. Melodic but never flogging the standard verse-chorus formula. Instead these are rough-throated gospels, shambling shout-alongs, insistent rave-ups interspersed with brooding instrumental stretches. Comparisons have ranged from Sweep the Leg Johnny and Hot Snakes to Archers of Loaf, Silver Mt. Zion and June of 44. The median age of the band is 35. The average height, about six foot. They are not snappy dressers but they pay their taxes on time.
And now arrives ALL THESE DEAD ASTRONAUTS, the band’s third album in four years, and their richest, most focused fiasco yet. By turns blistering and moody, euphoric and sprawled, the album is a testament to the somewhat dubious prospect of maturing without mellowing; growing, yes, but growing weirder, feral, with rambunctious precision and a sore throat the next day. Songs about failed pioneers. Failed parachutes. Failed bodies. Successful drunks.
But mostly the album is an ode to our stupefied survival in a stupefied century, the moats we carve around our communities and the experimental adventures that drag us forward, anxious and howling; the ways we secretly rally, and the sublime noise with which we hunger and thrive.