Workhouse The End of the Pier

A lovely instrumental album can sometimes convey much more than rhyming couplets could ever hope to accomplish. Although England’s the Workhouse bring up some lovely pieces of music, it is their vocal pieces that entice and tingle the soul. "Peacon” slowly builds to a triumphant blast of guitars, with just enough lightness to the proceedings to keep away those nagging references to GY!BE and "John Noakes” adds some Cure guitars to make a great space rock dirge. Yet, despite such great musical ability and organisation, there lacks a spark to demand attention and it is the last track, "The End of the Pier,” that truly draws the wire tight to bring much-needed tension and edginess to the album. Beginning with some post-punk riffs and a of coda to instrumental allure of the album, it is about four minutes in before the deep-voiced lead vocals enter and dramatically change the atmosphere. The proverbial secret ingredient, the vocals coalesce the song’s motives and bring them to surface, giving the Workhouse a conquering dark rock epic. The following bonus tracks also use vocals to great effect, but it is the titular song that shows the Workhouse is a band that, given the right sense of inspiration, is to be reckoned with. (Devil In the Woods)