The Wheel Workers | post-truth | S/R | Nov. 2ND, 2018
The Houston based five-piece political rock band The Wheel Workers isn’t so political on its upcoming new album post-truth (out Nov. 2nd, 2018.) Now, the band’s lean and quirky Dead Kennedys, The Clash, and Pixies-influenced style shoves real life in front of our eyes.
Following up an astounding eight nominations at the Houston Press Music Awards in 2015 for its previous album Citizens, which was also called “a true masterpiece” that year by Free Press Houston, post-truth’s opening cut “White Lies” was first released in November of 2016 just before the Presidential election.
“Successful political art foregrounds the artistry while making a statement that isn’t just applicable for a limited time,” said The Onion’s A.V. Club in its coverage of the song.
“I was personally caught up in the horror many liberals felt at the time,” says The Wheel Workers leader Steven Higginbotham. “But after all the personal difficulties the band has faced since that time, I’m not sure I would write that song the same way today.”
“Two of our members had houses flooded during Hurricane Harvey,” Higginbotham explains, “and they have spent the better part of a year coming back from that. I went through an intensely hurtful break-up that put me in a dark place. But the band supported each other through it all.”
“Some of the people that were most supportive and kind during our difficulties were people I would probably disagree with politically,” Higginbotham continues. “But the decency and love they showed in helping us rebuild our lives is so much more important than whether we agree on this or that issue.”
Interestingly, if the message of “White Lies” reflects where the band started, post-truth’s final track “Sing,” might best reflect where the band is today. “Wade thru the night until the daylight dawns,” Higginbotham sings in the song’s chorus, rising to a climax of, “We... want so much for the spell that now holds us to break / Love is what I hope we sing next.”
In “Doesn’t Really Matter,” after running though a litany of distractions of modern life, the band boils down what’s real and what matters, singing, “What hurts you the most / When you’re all alone? / What do you live for / When you leave your door? / That’s all there is / That’s all you get.”
Now that the fortified members of The Wheel Workers are ready to release post-truth, and with past as prologue, the album’s title suddenly comes into relief, a clever twist on the idea of alternative facts, but actually referring to who we are as individuals after the tea is spilled all over our personal worlds.
With chugging guitars that are still airy, intense choruses (first single “Desire” is as attention-grabbing as U2’s own song of the same name), and a tough-love lyricism (“Sometimes it’s hard to remember my desire”) that sticks long enough for you to realize it’s stuck (and appreciate it!)
Out of the darkness of the two years since the release of “White Lies,” a song wholly aimed at the Presidential election battle, and the raw exposure it shined on our stark differences, came personal catharsis, and that’s a fight that can be considered won.
“I’m definitely still socially conscious,” Higginbotham elaborates, “But now I think problems are best dealt with the way we do in our personal lives, with the people we genuinely care about, supporting and loving one another with understanding and forgiveness.”
post-truth, the latest album by Houston-based band, The Wheel Workers arrives on Nov. 2nd, 2018, preceded by the single “Desire”. The band headlines a record release show at Houston’s White Oak Music Hall on Nov. 16th.
12/16/2018: Houston, TX @ Cactus Music (In-Store) [INFO]