Wheat Live

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Source : CD   Released: 1997   Company: Sugar Free Records

(From the original Sugar Free Records site)
Nearly impossible to classify, Wheat's singular brand of shimmering, elegiac indie pop is truly music for the head- it gets inside of you and doesn't let go. Songs like "Death Car" and "Karmic Episodes" emit guitar sparks and lush popwaves and the seven minute "Summer" is a near-epic of teenage escapism set to flowing, intertwining guitar lines.

Artwork | Lyrics

1. Preprise   1:30
2. Death Car   3:19 Artwork
3. Karmic Episodes   3:22
4. Tubesoft  3:44
5. Soft Polluted Blacks   4:08
6. Summer   6:46
7. Leslie West   4:13
8. Girl Singer   4:35
9. Working Man's Manifesto   4:42
10. Reprise   1:09
Total Time: 37:28


CMJ New Music Monthly - November 1997
Neither the liner notes nor the accompanying press biography for this album say much beyond song titles; by maintaining anonymity, Wheat distances itself from the egocentric nature of the down tempo, lo-fi indie pop genre in which it peddles its wares. Framed by the static-plus-keyboards "Preprise" and the solo electric piano closer "Reprise," these eight songs delve into modest tales of varying degrees of disconsolation and heartbreak. "My ears are buzzing like a cheap pair of speakers/So I guess you're doing fine," goes the opening couplet of "Karmic Episodes." Adding to the sullen atmosphere, the entire affair seems to have been recorded in a studio made of aluminum foil. The resulting rattle and overtones, complemented by the background noise of various electronic drones and whistles, only enhances the sensation of genuine emotional distress, when feelings can't be isolated, and resonate with what-ifs and might-have-beens. The album peaks with the almost seven-minute "Summer," a bittersweet reminiscence on youthful follies. We may look to musicians to help us articulate the complexities of our feelings, but ultimately everyone's experience is somehow unique, and Wheat understands this, straddling the line between the universal and extremely personal on Medeiros with maddening grace.

NME - August 19, 1998
THERE ARE NO CREDITS ON THE SLEEVE; no list of instruments, or who played them. There are only serial numbers and a tube map-cum-shopping list of household items, into which Wheat's oblique song titles are slotted. Musically, Glenn Medeiros is not an obvious influence. East Coast newcomers Wheat are therefore something of a self-styled conundrum. They give precisely arse-all away, bar a sea-blue sleeve that hints at the submerged, expansive music within.
It's to Wheat's credit that theirs is a coy bluff worth calling. Eight tracks of warm, guitar-driven understatement are here bookended by some abstracted rustles and dinky electric piano. Throughout, piles of guitars thrum like living things, crawling with the sort of little electronic scratches and whistles that would beg the tag Sparklehorse-lite, if that were not too glib for this record's inviting depths.
Indeed, even if 'Medeiros' were merely another slice of odd, melancholic Americana like the 'Horse, it would be enough to celebrate. As it is, the countrified murmur of songs like 'Leslie West' and the slow chug of 'Tubesoft' are periodically interrupted by cracking pop songs like 'Death Car' or the lovely 'Summer' ("Smoking pot with your train-track friends/Close your eyes and let the music carry you").
So, it gets a touch samey after about the 23rd listen. So, a few more killer tunes like 'Death Car' wouldn't go amiss. Still a staple in your diet, nonetheless.
Kitty Empire