The first time I put this disc in the ol'
CD player I was bored. I was bored by the music. Later, after
getting my cynical mind in a better place (low blood sugar
was making me cranky), I started to find it intriguing. The
main thing I found interesting with this album is the mix
of heavy drums, loud full guitars and a kind of 70's vocal
vibe. In fact, after a few listens I started to dig this.
It's kind of like Cult meets Beastie Boys meets Helmet meets
Foghat. Sound interesting to you? I am pretty hard to impress,
but there were some things that did impress me.
The musicianship on Songs of the Pioneers
is first rate. Guitarist, Freedom, is right on the money with
his work on "Gimme Some Skin." The funky bass line on "Zero"
is another highlight. Sure it would be easy to dismiss Workhorse
Movement as a Limp Bizkit clone but they are a rock band and
there are no damned record scratches to detract from the mission
of the album. Sure there are some electronic effects but I
think that's more for a psychedelic feel than anything else.
"Traffic" is has a rap and a mellow jazzy guitar that is broken
up by a real rockin' chorus. The psychedelic grove of "heavy"
kind of surprised me. It has a big ol' crunchy guitar chorus
too. The evil sounding guitar work on "Beotch" sounds like
a Danzig/Cult combo. Frankly the name's a little juvenile
and the song doesn't do much else for me. It's one of the
clunkers. Same for "Joe Mama," except for it's funky groove.
"Motown," however, is a great cut with horns and a real nasty
heavy guitar. It's one of the most original sounding songs
I've heard in a while, especially from a band in this genre.
It's bad ass. In fact I think I'll play it again right now...I'll
be right back. Okay, I'm back. "Charlie Don't Surf," is not
near as cool as the movie from which it takes its title. It's
nothing special. "Cosmic Highway," kind of woke me up after
I was being bored with the previous couple songs. It really
reminded me of The Cult but, like most latter Cult, it didn't
do much for me. "Mother Earth" relies too much on vocal production
tricks to try to make it interesting but it falls short. The
a funky groove rears it's hear again on "Feel Like Bob Marley."
It's a great finish to an uneven album.
I can't wholeheartedly recommend Songs
of the Pioneers but I really did like about half of it. The
other half of it didn't do enough to keep my Boo Radley-like
attention span from jumping away to other things. The best
parts are when The Workhorse Movement treads on new ground.
They are weakest when they seem less inspired. The guitar
recording is stellar. I like a fat guitar sound and this album
has it in spades. Inconsistent but promising work from a band
that, if they push themselves in new musical directions, we
will hear from again.
1. Workhorse and Intercourse
2. Keep the Sabbath Dream Alive
3. Livin' Evil
4. Gimme Some Skin
6. Traffic (Featuring Esham)
10. Joe Mama
11. Charlie Don't Surf
12. Cosmic Highway
13. Mother Earth
14. Feel Like Bob Marley