Wheat Per Second, Per Second, Per Second… Every Second

Wheat Per Second, Per Second, Per Second… Every Second
Originally slated to be put out in 2001 on the now defunct Nude label and later re-recorded for this actual release, Per Second loses the grittier pop edge that Wheat is known and loved for, opting instead for a much more immediate Powderfinger-esque alterna-gloss coating. While the production does little to detour from the power pop perfection of highlights "I Met a Girl,” "These Are Things,” "Breathe” or "Go Get the Cops,” significant sections of the record struggle to hold interest amongst Bono-isms ("Life Still Applies”) and MOR radio fodder like "World United Already” or the absolutely dumbfounding "Some Days.” Only "Hey So Long (Ohio)” and "The Beginner” remotely hearken back to their classic Hope and Adams, both in terms of production value and incredibly subtle hooks. Granted, a fair amount of the record manages to walk the fine line between accessible pop and reputable indie rock with remarkable skill, but this only makes it harder to grasp its sporadic generic alterna-band tendencies. What it comes down to is that Per Second finds Wheat devoid of nearly any subtlety, confining their extreme talent to an unfortunately generic style — ultimately resulting in an album far too disjointed to truly enjoy.

Do you worry about reactions to the band’s new direction?
Singer Scott Levesque: Now that we’re not such an "indie thing” anymore, I’m sure people are going to trash the record, but it wasn’t shtick then and it’s not shtick now. We’ve had friends talk about the record and try to apologise for it being pop, but no one needs to apologise for us. We’re not trying to do anything except make a decent record.

You worked with Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Delgados, Mogwai) again on the new record, though the sound seems very out of character for him.
Our relationship with Fridmann isn’t to achieve a specific sound, like people may think; it’s just that we like what he brings to the band. Sometimes he’d say "this vocal is too high, it’s Britney Spears territory” or wonder what the hell we were doing, but that sort of conflict is what forms the final product.

What is the biggest misconception you think people may have about Wheat?
Drummer Brendan Harney: That we’re overly serious guys. There’s a definite tongue-and-cheek aspect to our music that sometimes doesn’t come across on the records. Levesque: It’s just music, you know? It’s enjoyment. It’s about fun. That’s where we’re coming from. (Aware)