Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Reviews:: The Wheat Pool Hauntario

I’ve struggled a lot lately with the reason I bother blogging anymore. Is it to be a critical voice? Probably not, especially considering the number of blogs out there outweighs the overwhelming than the amount of shitty bands hoping for some press. Chances are you can find a hundred reviews proving your opinion about the biggest bands in the world or the shittiest local band that hasn’t even booked a show, so getting lost in the ether is almost a guarantee. Throw in the fact that classic media still views bloggers as nothing but pawns (rightly so), essential to strategy, but simply the front line in the ascent of a band. No one seems to acknowledge the grass roots level effort of the people that stumble on bands long before they are signed and headline shows. Blog opinion is still discussed in hushed tones, usually out of the side of a “real” critic’s mouth.

It certainly isn’t for money, at least not for us. Don’t get me wrong, we’d love to get some anonymous donations (hint, hint) to help justify the hours we spend on this endeavor, but we are realistic. People want free music and expecting a simple comment to say thanks seems like a inconceivable notion, let alone expecting someone to pay us for our time. Honestly, most blog readers only speak up when they disagree, want to point out how poorly constructed our opinion is or how shitty a band we like actually is.

But you know what? When I hear a band like The Wheat Pool deliver the type of record that somehow hits you in the stomach, the mouth and the heart all at the same time, I remember the reason I cobble together your thoughts each and every fucking day is because I love music. That being passionate about music helps me have passion for other things and as much as I like that people read these words, they are more for me than anyone else. The songs are mine to digest however I want.

That idea might seem cliché, especially after that dorky kid from Almost Famous already showed what being a fan meant to people and most bloggers would just as happily rip apart an unsigned band for no reason other than their own enjoyment, but I don’t care. As soon as the regret seeps into This Is It, I feel the loneliness and tears of a lover leaving or mistakes I've made, but it’s the fuzzy bass, horns, electric work and harmonies that absolutely destroy me. Pain is universal, bigger than me and it’s bigger than the band, so when they start distorting the notes, the chaos just triggers the memories I've held onto all these years.

There is so much to like about this record; the harmonies bleed like an open cut. Rudd’s vocals are accessible and open ended, kind of like a Can-con Cub Country (tell me you can’t picture Jeremy Chatelain penning Evangeline or the beautiful Italy) or the subtleties like the piano that dances in the distance, but it’s more how these melodies are a shoulder to cry on or a hug when you need it most. I could go on and on about these 11-songs and try to convince you why you should pay attention, but Hauntario one I’ll hold close to my chest. The thoughts that Edmonton band triggers amongst the wash of steel and acoustic are mine and mine alone.

They let me get out and run (I’m Not Here or the fist pumping Too Far Apart) when I need to, give me hope (Nervous Bird) and help me get through some of the emotions that have been consuming me over the last few months. When (out of context to the song) Rudd says, “they don’t know what we’re going through, but we’ve got a lot of crying to do” on One Of These Nights, it’s like he understands the insane ups and downs my wife and I have been traversing these last few months and for some reason it's reassuring. I know they don’t know me our or situation but it's like they are singing to me for those 3-minutes and those few chords and perfectly turned phrases are the answers I’ve been searching for but couldn’t seem to find anywhere else. Foolish? Of course, but that's what loving music is all about and if you can think of a better reason to get up and keep writing I’d love to hear it.

MP3:: The Wheat Pool - This Is It
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/thewheatpool

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Posted at 8:15 AM by ack :: 2 comments

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At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Sam did sayeth:

Well said Ack.


At 1:14 AM, Blogger Paul did sayeth:

I have spent the last month playing this cd for travelling working and insomnia soundtracks and I agree with your intense identifications. Every song is perfect. The subtlties of the production just keep becoming more and more evocative, And what a good drummer!!!!!!It has entered my top 20, somewhere in the level where I keep Big Pink and Harvest.
Have you heard Rose Cousins' The Send Off yet?


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