There was a time when bands weren’t attempting to drop an album full of potential singles, when bands stood up against their oppressors, and when artistry was about the way you crafted a song and not how many followers you had on social media. For about eight years, Houston’s The Wheel Workers have clawed their way into the heads of anyone who’s caught their intricate performances. While their last album Citizens felt like a string of singles, with Post-Truth it feels like the band is writing more thoughtful tracks while offering depth to their already organically catchy sound.
Opening with the searing words for our barely literate president, the five piece offers up a punchy and hard driving critique with “White Lies.” They keep that intensity going on “Nothing to Say,” where the synthesizers and snappy drums meld with guitar and dual vocals to hone in on the concise notes the band has become known for.
However, that’s not where the enchantment of Post-Truth lies. While snappy tracks are what this band does well, it turns out that thoughtful and well crafted slow builds are what they do even better. The song “Desire” for starters still holds an upbeat pace, but it’s the way the guitars and keys come together and meet to form a structure from the band that you haven’t heard before. They do this again on “Games We Play,” where they aren’t in a hurry to get to the chorus, and in many ways they grow with each note, as the composition of the track alone is attentive and contemplative.
The amount of songwriting acumen behind the track “Burning,” the melodic mixtures and hooks on “Doesn’t Really Matter,” and the piano driven progressions of “Sing” display a band that’s grown while still keeping pieces of their core sound. They may remind you of The Cars or Apples In Stereo, but in the end, The Wheel Workers stand on their own merits with the weight of this album.
You can stream Post-Truth wherever you stream music, you can purchase it in digital store fronts, or you can purchase it on a limited run vinyl from Bandcamp. The Wheel Workers are set to announce Summer tour dates in the coming year. You can catch them in person at their hometown album release party on November 16 at White Oak Music Hall.
Image Credits: Photo by Allison McPhail.