The Ramones, The Kinks, Jay Reatard
When you hear the words “bare wires” what do you associate it with? Electricity? Raw? Exposed? Power? Now try to imagine all those associations in a musical form -- what you get is the garage-rock/punk infused trio from Oakland with one of the most descriptive and apropos names in rock, Bare Wires. These guys have a clear affinity for the power and machismo of 70s rock, but they’ve updated the music with more concise songwriting, lighter arrangements, and ultimately a more accessible sound. Imagine the catchiest Jay Reatard songs with a little more sun and yet the same amount of energy.
Bare Wires is fronted by guitarist and vocalist Matthew Melton, an Oakland musician by way of Memphis, Tennessee. In Memphis, he worked closely with Jay Reatard (Melton was the photographer who shot the seminal cover art for Reatard’s Blood Visions) where he honed his own garage rock/punk aesthetic before moving to Northern California. Out west, he worked in several different musical projects, including Bare Wires and Snake Flower 2, cutting his teeth on the energetic and fecund house party scene of Oakland. Eventually things just clicked for Bare Wires and now Melton and the band are emerging onto the national scene. They’ve just finished up recording the last tracks of their new LP, and they are currently on tour. If you get the chance, I highly recommend catching their live show to see exactly just how fitting their name is.