Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wheat Chiefs: Redeemer (1996)

Ship of Fools formed in the wake of SNFU’s demise in 1988. Consisting of three members of SNFU, including the guitar playing Belke brothers, they ended up changing their name to Wheat Chiefs and they released a short cassette in 1990, I think.

Wheat Chiefs had to put up with lots of shit. Lots of people expected a reincarnation of SNFU, just without Chi Pig singing, and were not happy when what they got instead was melodic alternative rock. They were plenty of "Play some SNFU!" shouts from unhappy punkers at their early shows. At the band’s beginning the difference between SNFU’s brand of hardcore and Wheat Chiefs’ toned down punk could not have been more striking, but people came around to them. I even understood that as much as I wanted them to play songs that they wrote when they were teens, it sometimes isn't feasible.

The thing is that the Wheat Chiefs did it right. On Redeemer, they took punk to a different level, concentrating more on well crafted songs than on just playing fast and loud. That's not to say that SNFU didn't have well crafted songs; it's just that the songs on Redeemer are more refined and mellower. The punk attitude is still there, but some of the fury has taken a hike.

Don't worry though, there's still plenty of attitude against suburban dweebs in "Neighbors" ('I would die if I were like you') and spoiled hockey players like the subject of "Joe Murphy". Wheat Chiefs actually make that song's refrain of "Say goodbye, I will say goodbye" seem to mean more than just an indictment against a kooky hockey player who thought he was a god and should be paid accordingly. They make it mournful, as if you should be listening to it after you left your fiancee at the train station before going to war.

I borrowed the image from

1. Refuse
2. Twist this around
3. Theme song
4. Joe Murphy
5. Redeem
6. Neighbors
7. Crawl
8. Hard 2 love
9. Everything
10. Rock & Roll Makes Me Party on MTV & the Radio in the U.S.A.

Download it here: Wheat Chiefs


Chris F said...

Wow - thanks for uploading this. I used to have their first demo tape but it was lost along the way.

AdamBomb said...

I'm glad you like it. If you're interested, the last time I looked you can get their demo on eBay or Gemm.