A couple years ago I picked up Wheat's album Hope and Adams out of the used bin of a local record store having heard some good things about them. Although they didn't pull anything off entirely new with that release, their sound was a pretty fresh mixture of sounds that pulled together a variety of influences for a fairly solid sophomore release on the small Sugar Free Record label. With Per Second, Per Second, Per Second... Every Second, the group has jumped to a major label and changed their sound in the way that people typically complain about when they talk about smaller bands getting on a major.
While all of the rough edges of the group have been smoothed off with this newest release, the whole thing has been given an even higher-sheen finish by the man who seems to be the king of glossy production lately (Dave Fridmann). Don't get me wrong, the production work here is flawless, but the release is so slick that there's no doubt this thing is bound for top 40 and as many slots on the newest WB show as possible. There's no getting around it, the trio of Wheat rights precious songs that would probably be called Emo in any other outfit. The opener of "I Met A Girl" is pure boy-meets-girl pop (literally, with stating such) as Wayne Coyne-esque vocals soar over polished guitar rock with just a touch of flourishes. The piano breakdown in the middle of the song is a nice touch, but soon is forgotten as the group goes back into the endless chorus.
After a set of very straightforward pop-rock tracks, the group sort of breaks things up with the strings n' rhodes crooner of "Go Get The Cops," and it ends up being one of the better tracks on the disc (with hollowed-out drums that add a subtle backdrop). Another standout is the bopping piano-driven gem of "Closer To Mercury," but in terms of opting for a route the release goes towards the most plain and safe one just about every single time. If you could imagine a cross between Wilco and Flaming Lips with just about everything challenging and interesting sucked out of it, it might sound something like this.