Music Review: Wheat, “White Ink, Black Ink”
“Change is the better part of me,” sings Scott Levesque on Wheat’s fifth disc, “White Ink, Black Ink,” and the Boston band could not have delivered a better mission statement. Following the autumnal, Dave Fridmann-produced 1999 disc “Hope and Adams,” Wheat signed to a major label and delivered “Per Second, Per Second, Per Second … Every Second,” a thoroughly melodic and commercially unsuccessful brass-ring grab. “White Ink, Black Ink” is the second disc in Wheat’s indie retrenchment, and the duo of Levesque and Brendan Harney are absolutely killing here, creating a disc that is as adventurous as it is surprisingly accessible.
“White Ink” begins with “HOTT,” in which Levesque sings about life’s flux periods against a galloping combination of processed beats, Harney’s furious drumming and a wall cloud of tempestuous sonics. “Change Is” puts the band in perspective as the anthem builds a head of steam, with Levesque’s guitars achieving orchestral density. Throughout “White Ink,” Wheat finds pleasing ways to layer its noises, almost always culminating in an earworm melody or hook.
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