CD Cover The Wheat Chiefs
BangOn / Cargo

Review by Paul Watkin

44-second excerpt from "Refuse" (various formats)

At first, I didn't like Redeemer. After a couple of listens, I liked Redeemer. After a ton of listens, I love Redeemer. Why? Driven by the Belke brothers' cool guitar work, the Wheat Chiefs show us the hooks in the songs, but don't bludgeon us with them, which is why it may take a few listens to get into it.

This is a rock album. Pop tendencies? Yep. Heavier tendencies? Sure. Alternative guitar tendencies? You know it. Screw the generic labelling though, I think I'll make better use of my time and go hit the repeat button on the CD player.

It's apparent from the first guitar crunches in "Refuse" that the Wheat Chiefs know how to construct a song and, with many a lingering chorus throughout the CD, they pull you back like a rubber band to create the tension before launching you forth with the Belke guitar attack again.

It is these contrasts that make Redeemer notable. "Neighbours" carries nice upbeat guitars and harmonies and as you settle in and listen to the Wheat Chiefs talk of coffee cakes and barbecues, you connect with their summation: "I would die if I were like you." It kinda motivates you to walk up to that doofus who mows the lawn at 8:00am and hoist that lawnmower through those bright bay windows.

Redeemer is a cool first effort from the Wheat Chiefs, and upon listening, you too will find yourself caught up in the songs.

Artist Contact Info: 544 - 810 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V5Z 4C9

First published in Drop-D Magazine on October 31, 1996

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