A rather morbid album title and a rather uninspiring band name wouldn't make this album stand out to most people.
Nonetheless, going on my only previous knowledge of Wheat, which was their gorgeous track 'Don't I Hold You', as featured on the first of V2's 'Acoustic' compilation CDs, I thought I'd see if they could recreate that song's gorgeous lonely, longing atmosphere.
Opening track 'Closeness' seems to take a remarkably similar path to Coldplay's 'Fix You,' with its organ, swelling chorus and anthemic(ish) qualities. However, it only sounds like that up to a point. If Coldplay added a dosh of country to their sound, Chris Martin didn't give a damn about how his voice sounded, and they spent all of five minutes mastering the track and cleaning it up. It's as if Wheat wrote 'Closeness' and decided it was a little too mainstream/anthemic, so put it in a tumble dryer, through a mangle and jumped up and down on it repeatedly for a few minutes.
'Little White Dove' opens with piano too, but then introduces a moderately-hectic drum beat and distorted guitars. Nonetheless it's a catchy little number, despite ending with conflicting lead and backing vocals bringing the song to a rather original, although confusing ending.
'Move=Move' introduces bleepy synths and country rock riffing, in a kind of Wilco vein, while 'I Had Angels Watching Over Me' is a rather relaxed song with added vocals and guitar that lend the song a slightly uncomfortable edge, as well as a number of layers.
'What I You Got' becomes a distorted synth filled tune, led by a catchy bass groove, with Wheat's drummer again earning his money and getting the most out of his drumsticks. It's certainly a standout track.
'An Exhausted Fixer' follows the lead of tracks like REM's 'Belong', with a monologue being read over a nicely distorted country-indie backing tune.
As you may have guessed, Wheat aren't going to be on mainstream radio in the UK any time soon. Nonetheless, despite making an album that intends to put the listener on edge as much as possible, even with the employment of synthesisers and, at times, acoustic guitars, there are a few rather nice little tunes here. 'Everyday I Said A Prayer For Cathy And Made a One Inch Square,' seems to hold the middle ground in being made up of songs that are neither laid back, somber acoustic numbers, nor full on indie/country rock. Instead, there is a balance of the two in the majority of the songs on this album. I can't, hand on heart, say that I would go out and purchase this album, but in true British style, as once remarked upon by Bill Bryson, "it could be worse couldn't it?"