Sound — 7
The complexion of indie-pop has a new dimple on its visage that of the duo Wheat. Comprised of lead vocalist/guitarist Scott Levesque and drummer/keyboardist Brendan Hamey, Wheat have a melodic bonding reminiscent of the bohemian moods of The Hold Steady with folksy tapers reflective of David Kilgour. The arching lobes of Levesque's guitar chords imbue a trance-like stroking velcro to the bristling beats of Hamey's drums, which range from the meditative tempo of "I Want Less" to the hypnotic reeds and Indian-studded beating of "My Warning." The synthy pop pixels of "Change Is" and "Half Of The Time" have a mellow popping looped around catchy guitar hooks, and stencils a whimsical roaming in "Sincero" as flyaway guitar shards are ribbed by glittery synths. Wheat's music has an attractive fluidity that bodes well with the towering string arrangements of "Living To Die" and "Baby In My Way," and flickers poetically like a choir of chimes in "If Everything Falls." The heavy guitar fumes that pike "Music Is Drugs" have a classic rock vibe, and the sparkling synth-like rubies twinkling through "Two Mountains" are lined up in a nursery rhyme scheme. White Ink Black Ink never goes far from Wheat's comfort zone, but it offers plenty of soft rock pleasantries in its tunes.
Lyrics — 6
The lyrics are mostly straight-forward like in "Music Is Drugs" with obvious meanings in the phrases such as "The dream I was dreaming has clouded my mind... Music is drugs," or like in "I Want Less" as Levesque imparts, "Living things need equal parts of sun and rain." The most memorable lyrics are those that babble in a stream of consciousness-like flow demonstrated in "Half Of The Time," when Levesque muses, "Half of the time I feel broke, cracked and weathered / Half of the time I feel shiny and new / Half of the time I feel I'm clever / And half of the time I just haven't a clue."
Overall Impression — 7
Wheat's album has pretty music, very sedate and quite hypnotic and amiable. Their songs transcend indie-pop standards and offer something for everyone. Their music takes the sting out of real life difficulties as the duo carries the burden on their shoulders with a nonchalant outlook. They aren't pessimistic but neither are they positive about the future. They fall in the middle where life is accepted for what it is.