The Wheat Pool “Hauntario” (Shameless, 2009)
Noted as fans of Wilco, Weakerthans and Blue Rodeo; Alberta-based The Wheat Pool contain hints of Alejandro Escovedo — such is the broad gamut of indie rock-based music the four-piece cover
Awash in introspective, angst-driven material they create wonderful neat little grooves that, on first hearing might sound insignificant and inconsequential but after a couple of listens slot into place. As in the slow-paced opening tracks, ‘This Is It’ and ‘Lefty’ and the later ‘One Of These Nights’ where I can’t help but think the vocal style and ambiance is typical Escovedo — haunting and tortured as the lyrics dwell on painful memories and of having to start over.
True, some songs are indifferent and less conspicuous yet this is made up by the likes of ‘Italy’, ‘Nervous Bird’ —a simple affair it shows just what they can do. As it gets away from the succession of dark and dreary tunes that make up to many of the tracks. Likewise ‘Selfish Guns’ with shuffling rhythm and tight harmony vocals, the impassioned ballad ‘Too Far Apart’ and guitar-driven delight ‘I’m Not Here’ lend positive aspects to their music.
Vocally, brothers Rob and Mike Angus are excellent, and with fellow members Steph Dagenais (drums) and Glen Erickson on electric lead guitar aided by steel guitar and piano the quartet capture the space and beauty of Canada’s wide-open spaces is captured.
Date review added: Saturday, October 03, 2009
Reviewer: Maurice Hope
Related web link: www.thewheatpool.com