Pointed political anthems for the lost and jaded
I discovered The Wheel Workers with their 2015 album Citizens which merged together energetic rock, some jaunty barn folk and cowboy sensibilities alongside satirical lyrics. I very much enjoyed it and now with their latest album ‘Post Truth’ each section of that collection has been cranked up a notch.
‘White Lies’ smacks you right in the face with superb shouty chorus corkers like ‘You don’t know when you really don’t wanna know!’ as the electric guitars rage. The energy burst between the vocals, electronics, thumping bass lines and rhythm pushes the track forward as an anarchist anthem. The melodic mid-tempo rock of ‘Desire’ speaks of the loss of your soul in the daily grind among other things. Its hooks are beautiful with moon howls amongst the flowing drive of guitars and strings. It’s the flow that really makes this song something special and that transfers over as the band play out more whimsical tracks like ‘Doesn’t Really Matter’ and ‘How Did I Go So Wrong’ – the latter feeling like a late 90’s Brit-rock lighter swayer.
The album is for the most part though, very American. It has that spaghetti Western undercurrent that usually is pulled out with the electronic synths or in the case of the superb ‘Games We Play’ it’s the trumpets and bongos as The Wheel Workers give their take on radio-friendly psychedelia. It’s catchy, jingly and dark. Think a much better Babylon Zoo perhaps and that will align your mind for the Eastern-tinged ‘Burning’ before the barn-rock theremin-synth filled ‘Nothing to Say’ rocks your socks off. The lyrics throughout the album can be taken on both a personal and political level but this track along with the opener and closer feels like the most direct statements on the Governments of the world. You can Morris dance to it too – go figure! The album closes with ballad ‘Sing’. It’s overtly saccharine bluesy delivery on the music front paired up with the miserable lyrics is the perfect representation of the modern worlds media and its portrayal of 24/7 news. The track reminds me a little of Rufus Wainwright as its theatrical and piano/organ based and it rounds the album off in style.
The Wheel Workers have created a fantastic and very relevant rock album with Post-Truth. It describes the isolation many people feel in a political world where you can’t take anything at face value anymore. If you are not about the lyrics though, these songs are all fantastic melodically and if you’d like to grab yourself a random new rock album for Christmas – this one should be your random buy.
Recommended track: Desire
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