Boston-based Y2k-era hardcore/doom outfit THERE WERE WIRES is preparing for their celebrated 2003-released Somnambulists album to be issued on vinyl for the first time ever this month via newly reactivated Iodine Recordings in conjunction with Tor Johnson Records. BrooklynVegan is now hosting a premiere of the band’s newly unearthed cover of Sonic Youth’s “Tunic.”
THERE WERE WIRES‘ Somnambulists is a full-album experience that combines heavy, droning, and bluesy riffs with atmospheric interludes. The record follows a theme of loss, regret, sleepwalking, and darkness, and is a must-hear for fans of Neurosis, Converge, Isis, Pageninetynine, American Nightmare, Botch, Old Man Gloom, and Doomriders. Eighteen years after its initial delivery, Somnambulists arrives in grand vinyl format, remastered for optimal listening. The LP features all-new artwork with a gatefold jacket and included download and contains a previously unreleased cover of “Tunic” by Sonic Youth as a bonus track exclusive to this release.
“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,” the band delves. “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.”
BrooklynVegan writes, “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.”
Stream THERE WERE WIRES’ cover of Sonic Youth’s “Tunic” at BrooklynVegan RIGHT HERE.
Also see the video for “His Talk, Her Teeth” HERE.
The Somnambulists LP will see release in a range of exclusive variants for each party involved, including THERE WERE WIRES (Black and White Merge w/ Rainbow Splatter), Iodine Recordings (Bone White w/ Black and Gold Splatter) and Tor Johnson Records (Clear w/ Black and White Splatter), as well as mailorder partners Deathwish Inc. (Black and Silver Pinwheel), RevHQ (Gold), a small record stores pressing (White), and Limited To One NYC (White w/ Alternate hand numbered covers).
THERE WERE WIRES reunion shows will be announced for late 2021/early 2022, whenever regular touring safely resumes across the country.