Album Review: The Tumbling Wheels – Play the No Counts (New Music Friday Ep 4 winner)
This might be the shortest album review ever because, well, it’s not REALLY an album. It’s just a two song release on Bandcamp. However, the rules is the rules (as they say) and the Tumbling Wheels won episode four of the New Music Friday contest, so it’s only fair that we cover the album. Also, they’re really freaking good, so you need to know about them for future work that they might put out. Consider following them on Bandcamp so that you can keep up with their burgeoning careers.
The sweet harmonies of “Rotten Town” contrast beautifully with the song’s message about loathing your hometown. The sultry gang pose (seemingly?) nude, bathing together in their album art. That kind of whimsical chemistry comes through in their harmonies. They sound like a troupe who have been singing together for many years and only now decided to share this gift with the rest of us. There are some comparisons to be made here, but they’re actually smoother than those names like Peter, Paul, and Mary or the Mamas and the Papas, but that harmonic hippy vibe is spot on with these talented artists.
“Don’t Forget Me” is the tune that won the Tumbling Wheels this feature. The lead vocal is so stunning that the rest of the song just falls into place. There’s an alto lead that seems to hearken days of yore back to the 1920s. As the song progresses, there are shades of 50s diners and definitely some scathing lyrics more befitting the 90s grunge era. It all blends together for a deeply satisfying and sometimes unsettling, downtempo adventure.
This is a band to watch. These types of harmonies don’t come along every day. They also have a performance magnetism that reminds me of Lake Street Dive. If you enjoy these two jams, keep an ear out for the rest of their promising career.