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Workhouse - The End Of The Pier

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 26 / 9 / 2003

Workhouse - The End Of The Pier
Label: Bearos
Format: CD


Largely instrumental classic and timeless ambient rock on debut album from the Workhouse, which has been three years in the making

The Workhouse are a four piece band whose members come from Oxford and London. 'The End of the Pier' is the band's long-awaited debut album and was recorded over the space of three years. A singles compilation has also been promised, but to date hasn't appeared. I first fell in love with the Workhouse whilst watching them soundcheck at a Linoleum gig. They reminded me then of the Chameleons, the Kitchens of Distinction and 'A Storm in Heaven' era Verve, before they added "the" to their name and lost my interest. 'The End of the Pier' is all that I hoped for from the Workhouse and much, much more. A lot of the albums that I play are with me for the duration that they are on and that's all. Very few bands produce albums that I return to time and time again, but this is one and that in 2003 is something of a miracle. To call it a classic is not praise enough. Very few groups touch me on a personal level, but music really should. The Workhouse don't really use words and frankly they don't need to. They speak volumes with their instruments. Unlike a lot of other space/post rock, which it could be called but isn't really, 'The End of the Pier' has an an edge. The music touches your soul and beyond. Largely instrumental, and often very long, only two of the songs feature actual vocals. Others feature samples in a similar way to that in which the Smiths sampled words. The four guys involved-Andy Dakeyne (Guitars), Chris Taylor (Bass and Vocals), Peter Lazell (Drums) and Mark Baker (Guitars, Keyboards and Vocals)-are real musicians who play for the love of good music and not fame. The sounds that emerge are timeless, and of another era but also very fresh. While in the past I would have compared them to a more instrumental Kitchens of Distinction or Chameleons, and there are still elements of both those bands on 'The End of the Pier', it also has moments that the Cure would be proud of. 'The End of the Pier' is jangly, haunting, ambient, and also very dark, but not in a Gothic way. It is sometimes moody, but always wonderful. Do yourself a favour. Buy it and please don't let the Workhouse remain a secret.

Track Listing:-
1 Steelworks, Sea And Sky
2 Peacon
3 Ice Cream Van
4 The Ship
5 John Noakes
6 Mouse
7 Stoichkov
8 Paper Plane
9 Never Kill Your Dreams
10 Ricketts
11 Trading Estate
12 Vienetta
13 Goodbye Gudni
14 The End Of The Pier

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