Released on: Empty Souls (Single #32), Epic Records, 10 January 2005
Peak UK Chart Position: #2
The Lifeblood singles, while few in number, had nevertheless produced a large cache of B-sides. Unfortunately, these had largely been afflicted with a persistent lyrical weakness and excessive tendency towards repetition. The DVD edition of the the Empty Souls single would contain two exclusive tracks which – for better and worse – would finally vary things somewhat.
The first song, ‘Dying Breeds’ is notable for its having been written apparently entirely by Nicky Wire. Wire’s lyrics had taken centre stage since 1996, but in the years since his musical and vocal contributions had become more and more significant. This song, on which Wire also sings lead vocals, was a major development in this trend which hinted strongly at his solo album, I Killed the Zeitgeist, which would see release in September 2006.
In a somewhat perverse twist, ‘Dying Breeds’ makes positive qualities out of the same features which had weakened previous Lifeblood B-sides. The repetitive nature of the song’s basic structure is given a real hypnotic weight by Wire’s perfectly languid vocals, and the song’s ramshackle sound is both very appealing and a prelude to Wire’s upcoming album. The lyrics are nothing special but capture the interesting idea of extinction, with their references to dinosaurs and dodos, which may be reflective of Wire’s increasing focus on impermanence and mortality. Another minor gem of a B-side and one which dates from an era where such things were scarce, ‘Dying Breeds’ deserved a much more conspicuous release than it was given.
Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“like a dinosaur who has lost his home”