Tonight: The Wheel Workers Throw Some Political Fireballs at the Satellite

14708372_10155352532993709_4132926713305967382_nAnybody can write a political song; conversely, very few people can write a good political song. For every Public Enemy or Billy Bragg out there, there’s a metric ton of flat-out terrible also-rans.

And then, thankfully, there’s The Wheel Workers, who take political songwriting and graft it to smart, clever, earworm-packed pop. The band tackles gender discrimination, the environment, religious freedom, corporate control, tax-cutting ideologues, and a whole slew of other topics…and they do it all with songs that make you want to hum, sing, and dance along, no matter what your political bent happens to be.

Nowadays, though, it feels like the gloves are coming off. Citizens, the band’s most recent full-length, is sharp and pointed, deftly skewering its targets with intelligent vitriol while the melodies drift on by. And very soon now, there’ll be a new pair of songs out, as well, specifically timed to comment on the 2016 Presidential election, which has turned from a fairly meh politics-as-usual deal to a full-blown reality TV spectacle (complete with its own reality TV star, for crying out loud).

The two-song single will be released on November 4th, just a scant few days before Election Day — on The Onion‘s A.V. Club, no less, and kudos for that. With timing like that, they may not change a lot of minds or anything, but they’re a double blast of fury all the same.

“White Lies” blasts the know-nothing electorate who seems willing to buy into any pile of steaming bullshit that’s heaped onto them, so long as it affirms what they already happen to believe, and takes a serious swipe at the media that propagates those ideas, at the same time. It’s synth-heavy and ’80s-sounding, with chunks of both the Talking Heads and Gary Numan punching through the noise.

Then there’s “All My Fault,” which is quieter and more thoughtful but still bitter and damning, pointing a finger at the listener’s “white world of privilege” and sarcastically(?) remarking, “It’s all my fault / It’s all your fault.” Maybe the idea is that there’s plenty of blame to go around for the mess we’re currently in?

Now, while you can’t download the songs just yet (they’ll be available for free on the band’s Bandcamp), you can hear ’em live tonight, Wednesday, October 26th, over at the Satellite Bar. The Wheel Workers will be playing with excellent out-of-towners One Red Martian and Denton’s Criminal Birds (the latter of whom I’ve heard really good things about), and they’ll be debuting the two new songs then.

So get on up to the Satellite tonight, and hey, if you haven’t yet gotten your ass out to vote, well, do that, too.


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