Culture

CD REVIEW Creativity Gives the Workhouse The Edge

There are almost no words to describe the Workhouse’s debut album, The End of The Pier. Literally.

This new eclectic post-rock quartet dished out a slew of songs completely deprived of vocals and lyrics. Instead, it pieced together 12 tracks of pure mood music, laden with swarms of effervescent guitar textures and instrumental dynamics. Although the production quality is slightly lacking, the band’s musicality is impressive, forming addictive melodies and harmonies amid what appears to be a giant wall of sound.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Creativity is the group’s secret to winning over its listeners. It clearly shows through in the way it managed to structure and mix the plethora of sounds in its songs-and have it make sense.

The group produces a few memorable songs like “John Noakes” and “The End of the Pier,” which actually features a brief vocal line. Other standouts include the dreary “Ice Cream Van” and the dreamy “Mouse.” At the same time, there are a couple of songs, namely “Steelworks Sea and Sky,” that feel like nonchalant, unfinished experiments.

Regardless, unlike many other bands, the Workhouse’s independence from vocal communication is their greatest strength. It shines the limelight on the music and its intricacies, which the band commands with surprising precision.

Rafael Sangiovanni can be contacted at r.sangiovanni.miami.edu.

October 26, 2004

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