Wire Train

Ten Women

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Wire Train's third album is quite a disappointment coming after the excellent Chamber of Hellos and Between Two Words. Like later albums by their 415 records labelmates the Red Rockers and Translator, the magic of the band's original sound, a sort of Neil Young-meets-the-Paisley Underground gloss on early-'80s jangle pop, is largely missing here. Tim Palmer's production is largely to blame, trading the neo-psychedelic buzz for a flat, sterile, and commercial sound, but songwriter Kevin Hunter has to shoulder some responsibility as well. Never a particularly complicated songwriter (a large part of his charm), Hunter sounds like he's deliberately dumbing himself down here. Not only are the lyrics of songs like "She Comes On" and "She's Got You" as uninspired as their titles, the tunes themselves are basically forgettable trifles. New second guitarist Jeffrey Trott, replacing Kurt Herr, doesn't have much to do, meaning that the cool guitar interplay of the first two albums doesn't show up as much this time around. Wire Train would at least temporarily right themselves with 1990's self-titled effort, but Ten Women, while never quite tipping over into actively bad, is a comparatively weak album.

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