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Workhouse - The Coldroom Sessions

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 9 / 1 / 2012

Workhouse - The Coldroom Sessions
Label: Hungry Audio
Format: CD


Blissful and compelling post rock on third album from North London-based band, the Workhouse

'The Coldroom Sessions' is the third album the from under-rated post rock group, the Workhouse, who, with members situated originally in both Oxford and London, are now based entirely in North London. It follows on from their previous two albums, 'The End of the Pier' (2004) and 'Flyover'(2006), and is just as excellent as their past work. The band consisted for this recording off Mark Baker, Chris Taylor, Peter Lazell and Andy Dakeyne, and the album is dedicated to Rich Haines who was the producer of the first two albums, but sadly passed away after agreeing to produce this album too. 'Fading Fast' opens the album in a doomy, mean fashion, and has harsh drums and edgy bass. The whole mood of the song recalls the Cure during their 'Pornography' era. 'Stalker' has an odd pace, but the guitars shimmer perfectly like the ghosts of Kitchens of Distinction. 'The Last Time I Saw the Stars’ is more traditional in the way it is delivered. The guitars are strummed, but they still jangle, Chris sings the lead on this track, and the whole thing isn't just based like the other tracks on a post rock sound. ‘Drag Queen’ is a slow moody beast, in which you can lose yourself in the elegant beats. It jangles ever so softly, while the bass and drums just marry into each other perfectly like on an early instrumental by iLiKETRAiNS. ‘The Whistler’ is much lighter with New Order-like bass lines. The vocals are perky and it is not so doomy. ‘Seen Sometimes’ in contrast sounds like Joy Division, but is a bit more poppy with a big slash of Kitchens of Distinction. ‘Over the Prairie’ has a slow guitar drive, and is as haunting and as compelling as Slowdive. ‘And We Watched the Waves’ is soft, very haunting and very cinematic, until it revs right on up and, as it gets louder, becomes again like Slowdive. It has a textured sound and is beautiful because of it. ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ ends the album, is sung like a lament and is haunting, jangly and very cinematic. It is a song to lose your soul in, and just as you think it is coming to a close it carries on into another long journey. ‘The Coldroom Sessions’ is perfect, but I don't expect anything else from this band. It is both blissful and compelling.

Track Listing:-
1 Fading Fast
2 Stalker
3 The Last Time I Saw The Stars
4 Drag Queen
5 The Whistler
6 Seen Sometime
7 Over The Prairie
8 And We Watched The Waves
9 Rock And Roll

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Interview with Mark Baker (2002)
Workhouse - Interview with Mark Baker
One of the most under-rated of all British post rock bands, the Workhouse have now released 4 singles on 3 different labels. With their debut album, a retrospective, about to come out in America, guitarist Mark Baker talks about the band's 10 year history

digital downloads



The Sky Still Looks the Same (2014)
Beautifully packaged and presented ten inch vinyl EP and first release in three years from Oxford/London-based band the Workhouse, who combine indie rock and shoegazing components
Flyover (2006)
The End Of The Pier (2003)

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