Hair Brained Scheme Addicts (Cool Guy)
by Scott Hefflon
Tiltwheel is one of those bands that just oozes integrity. They have a timeless sound (think Hüsker Dü, Leatherface, and what I always think early Face to Face sounds like until I listen to it again), a gruff, noisy, unapologetic approach to melodic pop/punk, and they’re unafraid to let meandering rock and wailing feedback into the mix cuz it’s their mix, and if you don’t like it, well, go buy into some band that’ll be long-forgotten three years from now. Part of their charm is they’re missing a rather substantial number of notes and cues, yet you forgive them because you realize they’ve got more feel than an armload of meticulously-recorded radio-hoggers. There’s more to it than notes, kids. OK, so sometimes it kinda gets on yer nerves, but a lot less than you’d think. And while I enjoyed mentally searching my embarrassing musical archives as their cover of Icicle Works’ “Whisper to a Scream (Birds Fly)” began (A-Ha? No… Missing Persons? Men Without Hats? Alphaville? — reading the liner notes before listening is cheatin’), I must say it coulda been done a lot better. Or is that obvious? While the looping-chorus end is cool with all the swooping guitar feedback, I think that if yer gonna go out on a shaky limb (and we’re running out of them: Katrina and the Wave’s “Walking on Sunshine” yet again resurfacing in a commercial, and no one blinks), dance all goofy and probably make a total fool of yourself, ya might as well do it with such style that people can’t help but smile and give ya credit.