This is a review of "Robot Works" recorded by Wintermute. The review was written by Lesley Jackson in 2009.
The wait is finally over. The metal joints have been oiled, the nuts tightened and Wintermute's first long player, 'Robot Works,' is on the shelves. This has been an album that has been hotly anticipated for several months from Leeds' top live band and it certainly lives up to expectation. You know when you are at a gig and Wintermute are on the bill that you're in for a good time, with their energetic performance and lively guitars, time slips away quickly and you are always left wanting more from these talented young men from Leeds. Produced by James Kenosha and out on the Big Scary Monsters label, the album only took two weeks to record and thus captures the verve and pace of their live performances.
There is not much time for introductions with 'Robot Works' as we dive straight in with 'Bad Company in a Sauna' with Wintermute's keynote jerky guitars and lead singer Dan Howard's vocals rippling out of your speakers like a 21st Century Jonny Rotten of The Sex Pistols. All of the usual live favourites are distributed through the album, such as 'Ask a Stupid Question' and 'Gambling and Playing Cards' with some new surprises to make your ears prick up. 'An Irrational Fear Of...' introduces a change of pace as the band takes the tempo down, yet does not lose the listener as the violins add a beautiful compliment to Dan Howard's lilting lyrics and a touch of drama that stops you going to the bar or putting the kettle on.
'Disco Loadout' is a real grower and adds a bit of shouty madness to the equation with 'The Fall of Hans Gruber' building the tempo to a satisfying crescendo with Ben Johnson's crafted drumming keeping the listener constantly interested. 'Robot Works' ends with the more complex 'Jambon! Jambon!' as the words "I heard the crackle of a cigarette" stops the song as abruptly as it starts in a rather unnerving fashion but makes you take notice and hit the repeat button for more.
'Robot Works' lives up to expectations and is an essential buy for anyone who likes a guitar in their music and wants some originality. No doubt comparisons will be drawn to other bands, but not in this review as they are an original spell made from lots of magic ingredients. Wintermute have managed to translate their classy live act to an equally compulsive album that will be playing on your car stereo for ages to come.