Artist:  The Wheel
   Title: The Wheel
   Label: Music Buy Mail

When did you seriously get into rock music?  The 70's, 80's or 90's?  Earlier?  whichever it was, there probably came a point when the scene became lost for you, maybes due to the emergence of another music movement that seemed to overwhelm the airwaves and rock dropped off the face of the world.  "No longer cool" was the response of the record companies and even some bands over the last 2 - 3 years.

Fortunately for us rock fans now, we have bands who are hell bent on bringing back the good times, and good lord, ain't it grand!!  One band making waves lately is The Wheel, and with their debut self-titled album, you can hear why, as this is the "new wave" of classic rock we've all been waiting for.

As soon as the opening track 'Stand Up' begins, the surging combo of riff and drums say it all.  There is a modern twist to an age gone by in the sound, and as 'Into The Water' introduced itself, its quite easy to say that 80's Van Halen have supporters within this band!  Now we know what's been missing for so long ... Even the picky finger solo is very much E.V.H. territory.

'Love' kicks off in style with a slide guitar intro you'd die for, which continues on during the track.  As for the vocals, well, how does a young Robert Plant sound?  The song is seeped in Zep history and its shadow also falls on 'Comin' On', a funky based rocker that Plant and Co. dabbled with now and then.  Even the guitar solo mid way through lies in their camp, though Jimmy Page should be quite placed he's a hero to yet another six stringer trying to make a name for themselves.

There's a 90's vibe about 'Sparks' that just sounds so good you want to play it again and again.  The more you listen to it, the more you can almost hear Danny Vaughn and Tyketto playing it.  The mixture of light and heavy guitar being the stuff he's well known for, and still does today, and on 'Tellin' No Lies', its as if the 90's never went away!  Yes, there's definitely something for everyone here.

'Walk On Out' gives more than a nod and a wink to the beefy, lazy bass lines of one Soundgarden, and strangely, the vocals aren't too far off sounding like Chris Cornell either.  Be warned though, there's use of soundtrack part way through that has a couple arguing via some choice language, so no kids to be allowed here!

Running into 'Cry Of The Night', you get another carbon copy of Cornell and this chugging rocker.  In fact, you'd think it was him all along, and a good comparison to have if one was to be used.

Personally, The Wheel left the best 'til last on the album.  'All This Time' starts with a glorious acoustic and keyboard moment before building its way to an energetic riff and drumbeat that would have the kit begging for mercy!  This is why the band are getting noticed, they know what the punter wants when they play.

The mention of certain bands and their possible influences on this album being relevant was intentional for a purpose.  It goes to show just how much we've all appreciated good music from good bands in the past, and now we can also appreciate a band like The Wheel in their own right.  Rock on!! 

Review by: Bob Baldwin


1. Stand Up
2. Into The Water
3. Love
4. Tellin' No Lies
5. Sparks
6. Lost Soul
7. Comin' On
8. Walk On Out
9. Cry Of The Night
10. All This Time



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