InterviewsMusic ReviewsWorking Breed’s New Release “Hieroglyphica”

Patrick McElravyAugust 20, 2019

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania art rock quintet Working Breed are about to unleash their debut album “Hieroglyphica”. With their diverse and eclectic sound, the band plans to hit the stage hard and heavy Saturday, August 24th in support of their blood, sweat, and tears.

Let’s make this clear, upon a passing glance “Hieroglyphica” sounds and gleams like a top 40 alternative album, but below the surface lies many complex layers that shift and sway seamlessly. Imagine this: Norah Jones and Dave Matthews in the studio passing a blunt back and forth while vibing to the boisterous radio theatrics of Queen and the modern art rock of A Perfect Circle in their more derivative, melancholy moments. It sounds crazy and a lot to take in, but with each listen one begins to pick out more and more pieces to the puzzle that is Working Breed. With accessible, yet progressive songwriting, the band mash together their influences to create a very cohesive and commanding product. Despite all the various styles and influences that come to play here…..the band say it best in opening track “MO FO RO RO”: That’s motherfucking rock and roll. The guitars bust out catchy and melodic guitar work, ripping through the occasional solo when it’s time to shine, the bass punchy with funk and technical ability, the keyboards and horn section adding their touch to the overall vibe of things, whilst the drums hold everything together to keep the proper ebb and flow fluid. The vocals take the center stage most of album and for good reason. Showing prominent skills with dynamic and control, they navigate the band gracefully throughout the album. Make no mistake, despite the albums poppy and uplifting nature musically, the vocals and lyrics dictate a very emotional dichotomy amongst their delivery and lyrical content. There’s a lot of catharsis, tongue in cheek humor, and room for interpretation for one to sink their teeth into; rounding out the album as a whole perfectly.

The album as a whole is meant to be listened to front to back, displaying a story like set up with interludes in between tracks. The 2 stand out tracks that offer a glimpse into the album’s character are the ethereal lead single “Turtle Race” and the jazz prog epic “My Chimera”. “Turtle Race” is an emotional journey of love and loss that weighs heavy in the atmosphere. Beautiful picked guitar melodies and strings pave the way for one of the best vocal performances and lyrics the album has to offer. Gut wrenching turmoil and heartache gush as the band builds and erupts over the unconventional structure of this 7 minute epic. “My Chimera” offers a different side of the spectrum for the band. Adult contemporary riddled melodies dance with driving swagger, bringing out some of the poppier moments in the album. Mid way through the track the band comes to a halt as it seems like the song is over. With a pause the band comes back in with a tasteful jazz jam session before coming back to the track’s original gusto and timbre. The hook alone will be stuck in your head for days with its harmonious vocal work.

With a promising debut like “Hieroglyphica”, I have a good feeling the band’s hard work is going to pay off. With top notch production and performances all around, it’s only up from here. Be sure to catch their album release show this Saturday at The Thunderbird Cafe and Music Hall and pick up a copy. This album more than gets The Rooster’s stamp of approval and it should yours too……….