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Sunday, 18 September 2022

The Wheel Workers - Harbor


I've been around for many many years and so I feel more than a little guilty for not discovering them early. I've obviously got a lot to catch up on as Harbor is the seventh album by the five piece collective from Houston Texas, led by Steven Higginbotham.

When you see a band name like The Wheel Workers, you may think of Americana and hats or Yee Haw and more hats. There is not a hint of that here, Harbor is a splendid Indie album with many directions taken to reach the centre.

The variety is enormous. Morning Song is prime time IRS, but with a Bass line that could be Peter Hook. The Title Track is a wonderful keyboard led anthem, pure Pop Rock excellence. Day After Day verges on Modern Prog and Quarter Page is magnificently moody.

Cold is Modern Pop whilst Open Up is Celtic. Compare the Noise Rock of Suck It Up to the atmospheric closer, Love You So. The former vergers on Punk with someone like Devo joining in on the chorus. The latter has a weeping Guitar Thread that just nails the mood of the song.

Believers is top quality Post Punk College rock, yet S.O.S is hypnotic, a really brave choice for an opening song. With all this variance, it is easy for the listener to be confused, but here it all sounds such a natural thing to do. The result is an album brimming with ideas and unusual arrangements.

There is also a direct social message in the lyrics, which makes Harbor even more agreeable. These lyrics would be noticed secondary with the arrangements being so intense and brilliant. Picking three songs to embed is tricky, so listen to them all. I have no idea why I have missed The Wheel Workers thus far, I could kick myself. Highly Recommended!

You can listen to and buy the album here


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