A fear of commitment is what drives today’s Festive Fifty entry, Wheat’s Don’t I Hold You (FF 1999 #50), the lead single from the album pictured left. Yes, they do sound like Slanted And Enchanted period Pavement, but there’s a winsome, endearing quality, probably gleaned from the propulsive keyboard line, that makes this band more than another bunch of indie rock wannabes.
The band (Scott Levesque: vocals/songwriting, Brendan Harney: drums, Ricky Brennan: guitar) were formed in Massachusetts in 1996, but two years elapsed before their first album Medeiros (hopefully not inspired by slushy balladeer Glenn), and the following year’s acclaimed Hope And Adams. This was released on Nude, Suede’s label, which went to the wall shortly afterwards. 2000 saw them record a session for Peel, which includes two tracks from that album and another from their debut. More Than You’ll Ever Know is in particular noteworthy for its examination of the fallout of an extra-marital relationship (the line “What will you do when you’re alone/Will you try to renew your vows” is stretched to twice the expected length, with a resultant echo effect that is quite stunning) and the sonic clash that ensues.
The band have since changed labels, but are still active and pursuing their quirky direction. I can’t honestly say that I’ve heard their recent material, but all the signs are that they are far from a spent force and I will definitely be investigating it. Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol loves them, if that’s a recommendation.
The excellent quality session is courtesy of the band’s own website, unusual in that it is approved by the group themselves and contains a wealth of downloads of their rare material. No need for Web Sheriff to stick his fucking oar in, then.
Wheat, Peel Session
1. (JP Intro)
2. Don’t I Hold You
3. Death Car
4. More Than You’ll Ever Know
5. Heaven Was