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

(Columbia Records 2003)Wheat - Per Second, Per Second, Per Second…Every Second

The nineties are long over. And with that decade went the sunny SoCal pop rock sound. The better pop rock of these days no longer relies solely on melodic vocal and, perhaps, a decent guitar solo. Instead, the songs are more interesting and more involving. Whether you consider "pop" a dirty word or not, Wheat's "Per Second, Per Second, Per Second…Every Second" is a well recorded album that showcases the band's tight but familiar sound.

With their poppy and catchy beginning, "I Met A Girl," Wheat offer a strong opening to their album and a song that has all the right things to get stuck in your head for days. Staying upbeat, "Breathe" has a soft and memorable edge as bass quietly highlights the background. From a slow to mid tempo driving sound, "These Are Things" is straight forward and likeably poppy while "Life Still Applies" is more interesting with dynamic instrumentation. "Go Get The Cops" is a gentle ballad with strings and harmonic vocals that compliment the more upbeat mid tempo "Some Days."

A much softer vocal sound on "World United Already" gets your attention as does the background of barely audible monotone "yeah, yeah, yeah" before the soft but textured "Hey, So Long (Ohio)" builds up some energy. While the album had taken on a bit of a softer side, a more upbeat and driving side returns with "Can't Wash It Off" and the sugary and bouncy "Closer to Mercury." Slightly darker and more serious, Wheat step up the drumming on "This Rough Magic" before an upbeat rock track which sees the album's close with the question "don't I hold you like you want?"

"Per Second" is not reinventing the wheel, it is merely giving it some more style. Wheat remain poppy with their rock numbers throughout, offering a variety of styles from the radio single worthy (like "I Met A Girl") while the drumming and vocal structure of "Life Still Applies" has a dance feel. With a rough edge and a soft heart, "Per Second" delivers a bit of it all.

B+