Presentation and context are everything. Because Bare Wires leader Matthew Melton comes from the Bay Area's fertile lo-fi scene, because he once played in drone-jam punk outfit Snake Flower 2, and because his voice gets firmly distorted in a manner similar to contemporaries like Tyvek and sometimes Castle Face labelmates Thee Oh Sees, Bare Wires is a garage punk act. But not only are Melton's ten songs concise -- indeed, nothing on Seeking Love breaks the three-minute mark -- they are also flawless. The latter characteristic owes probably to the band, which includes Nathan Price and Brian Johnson. Melton's T. Rex influence has been well noted, and that's a decent starting point for Bare Wires, who are little more than a classic guitar pop outfit. They are so classic, in fact, that they -- besides the overdriven vocals -- might as well be a slick Los Angeles band created for the express purpose of licensing songs to teen dramas and video games. Melton's lyrical subjects edge on the almost completely generic -- "What's so hard to understand/She would not even hold your hand," he sings on "If It's Over" -- but it's a great breakup song. The energy of these ten songs has little to do with punk and everything to do with the universal themes of pop music. The formulas are a little note-perfect at times, and one might have a hard time finding Melton himself in the lyrics, or finding a place in the music as a listener. But for those predisposed to indie pop, Bare Wires are also very hard to resist. Nor is there any reason to do so.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jesse Jarnow