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Wheel - 'The Divide' EP Review


1. Please (Radio Edit)

2. Pyre

3. It's Over Now

4. Please (Album Version)

The first thing I noticed is the singer's voice is reminiscent in some ways of Jakko Jakszyck of King Crimson, but that's where the similarity ends, Wheel are a very different affair to that venerable institution of a band, still Prog in all the best ways possible, though much more light on their feet.

This EP is bookended by a single version and an album version of the song "Please" the single version is (quite naturally), a leaner more approachable version of the song, missing some quite interesting instrumental passages and of course arranged to be a more concise and hooky interpretation of the song. I personally prefer the depth of the EP's closer, the album version as it feels like a more complete piece of music. But the single version is ideally arranged to draw in new listeners who are perhaps not as forgiving of the conceptualism and extended arrangements sometimes used in Prog.

The rest of the EP consists of two tracks, the intense and busy "Pyre" which despite being the longest track on the EP keeps the interest up so that the listener barely notices the passing of almost eight minutes, flowing and rolling through several varied movements.

"It's Not Your Fault" is a less intense affair, a deeply melodic ballad with a predominantly acoustic sound. A kind of sonic release from the wonderful carefully controlled chaos of "Pyre" before we're treated to the full-fat version of "Please" which closes the EP nicely.

This is only the band's second release (and I have yet to sample their first) but I feel like Wheel will be a band to watch in the future, they have shown in effectively three songs a diversity of style, a musical intellect. With the addition of the Single Version of "Please" they have opened the EP up to draw in a lot of perhaps more casual Rock fans who maybe wouldn't listen to a 6-minute song to find out if they like it.

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Review - Mike McLaughlin

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