Lost Classics: Wheat “Hope And Adams”

tapem200bThey’re nobody’s buzz bands anymore. But since 1993, MAGNET has discovered and documented more great music than memory will allow. The groups may have broken up or the albums may be out of print, but this time, history is written by the losers. Here are some of the finest albums that time forgot but we remembered in issue #75, plus all-new additions to our list of Lost Classics.

wheat540b:: WHEAT
Hope And Adams // Sugar Free, 1999

The sensitive suburban stoners in Wheat made Sebadoh’s Lou Barlow seem tough as nails. The Taunton, Mass., quartet took the cracked-vocal charm of lo-fi bedroom rock and smoothed it out with easy-listening melodies and soothing keyboards. For sophomore album Hope And Adams, Wheat enlisted producer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev) to further expand the sonic boundaries. While the LP sports bigger guitars, speaker-panning tricks and well-placed strings, Wheat was always a study in delicacy and restraint. If Death Cab For Cutie ever learned a thing about rocking softly and sentimentally, Ben Gibbard and Co. may have copied it straight out of Wheat’s book.

Catching Up: Due to two record-label switches, Wheat’s third album, Per Second, Per Second, Per Second…Every Second, didn’t come out until 2003 (on Aware/Columbia). The band toured extensively, opening for John Mayer and Toad The Wet Sprocket in hopes of securing a wider audience. Now a duo consisting of singer/guitarist Scott Levesque and drummer Brendan Harney, Wheat released Everyday I Said A Prayer For Kathy And Made A One Inch Square in 2007 and will issue White Ink, Black Ink in June. As we reported in February, Hope And Adams and 1997 debut Medeiros have been reissued with unreleased songs, rarities and demos as a three-CD set.

“No One Ever Told Me”: