Wireheads return to the fold for 2023 and Potentially Venus fills a void I couldn’t quite put my finger on over the past couple of years. The band had been kicking out a cadre of dented and damaged punk over the past few years before bandleader Dom Trimboli took a detour to form kindred spirits Dom & The Wizards. With The Wizards, Trimboli’s cosmic grit remained but he spread out to explore further vistas of the pop pantheon. He returns to Wireheads refreshed and ready to rip into the listener with sandpaper sonics that collide with the listener in crumple-punk perfection. Wireheads fifth album picks up a few tricks from his hiatus, though, skewing softer on “Hanging Garden,” early single “Killer Bee,” and “The Cascadia Fault Line.” The breadth picks up where Lightning Ears left off — an album that was still imbued with their caustic crust, but also hinted at a wider embrace of pop.

I’ve always been a bit baffled at the lack of a wider embrace of Wireheads, especially in the UK, where it seems their acerbic balance of punk and post-punk, paired with Trimboli’s serrated yowl, should appeal those deep in the decks with The Cool Greenhouse, Squid, or imports like Parquet Courts. Trimoboli’s cutting, yet quizzical lyrics always keep a Wireheads album far from well worn territory, shaking the body through with joy buzzer ballads fraught with dinosaurs, dirty detectives, venomous snakes, killer bees, tectonic tension, gardening, celestial bodies, Luca Brasi, and a the inner itch of the mind. Maybe the world is still waiting to catch up to Wireheads. Maybe once they do the airwaves and air pods will finally be freed, set sizzlin’ with the band’s brand of histamine heroics and cyanide soul. I’ll be there at the finish, waiting for the world to catch on.

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