February 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: The Workhouse – The sky still looks the same

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The Workhouse
The sky still looks the same
Oscarson
Street: 02.24
The Workhouse = (Interpol / Pavement / Mogwai) x Stuart Dybek
Merely taking this 10" out of the package is the preamble to its overall aura—a grey sleeve accompanied by a matching, grey lyrics booklet that holds a mini-CDR version; the mini book holds industrial/construction photos and drawings accompanying the lyrics. “The sky still looks the same” opens the release with somber, bare post-punk with a poppy smirk, and “F.N.O.” continues as an instrumental, shoegaze-y post-punk number that exhibits the power of single-line bass progressions. “Now I am on fire” is a starry slow burner, which furthers the title track’s lyrical motif of blight. The climax of this record is “Western Skies,” whose rolling bass line and dance-inducing beat bolster the smart, wistful guitar line throughout the verse to burst into a vocal lamentation of returning to places of one’s past. The Workhouse close this production out with instrumental “Seven stars,” featuring an accompanying cellist, and the track eases the release from upbeat rock to this contemplative dirge. The sonic narrative construction of The sky still looks the same is a perfect balance of sung songs versus instrumentals, which results in a synergistic masterpiece. Bravo, Workhouse. –Alexander Ortega

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