By Ezra Morris
We followed this “smooth punk” three piece across the Bay Bridge to a sick show at San Francisco’s Café Du Nord. Described by the Thermals as “unrefined and slightly dangerous,” the members of Bare Wires look like they swiped the street clothes off Murph and the Magic Tones while they were busy at the Ramada Room. The band has the swagger of a gang composed entirely of cooler older brothers.
Seeing Bare Wires on stage, it makes perfect sense that singer/guitar player Matthew Melton was raised in Memphis, home of Graceland, Stax, and Goner. They found a home base in Oakland, the grittiest and most malleable point in the Bay Area. It can be a rough and tumble area but it is still just a stone’s throw away from the city that gave us the Grateful Dead and the Dead Kennedys.
Drawing a heavy influence from all sorts of elements nicked from the 70s, Bare Wares twists in the leather jacket enhanced confidence that kept the Ramones so cool under pressure in their early days. You can hear the Stooges in there, but the confrontational Iggy vibe is absent.
Like Vancouver’s Dead Ghosts and New Orleans’ King Louie, Bare Wires filters nostalgia through the grittiness of DIY punk rock. A lo-fi haze hangs over their songs that makes them sound right as the soundtrack to a raucous house party or slipped in to some classic collection of lost AM radio power pop gems. Formed in Oakland’s house show scene that revolves around sites like the infamous Fuzz Plugs, Bare Wires keep it simple and direct, just like the masters did. They sing about girls, dancing, and the trials and tribulations of being young. They live for rock ‘n’ roll and have a great time doing it.
Matthew Melton, Tennent McCabe, Omar Hernandez