Working Breed are a Pittsburgh rock group whose proggy musical flourishes and niche lyrical conceits lend their music an experimental flavor.
Working Breed’s new release Hieroglyphica is a loose concept album named after a species of cicada, the latest in a historical line of artistic pursuits (including Hesiodic poetry, ancient Chinese artwork, and Argentinian protest music) to draw inspiration from the Cicadoidea insect superfamily. It makes sense, then, that the album would include a song called “Cicada.” The track is a waltz that shifts between soulful, atmospheric verses and an explosive chorus, Erika June Christina Laing’s voice and Michael Dugan’s guitar singing a smoldering blues duet before erupting into glorious power balladry; at the song’s emotional peak, Laing begs an unnamed person to “Please/please/please/Just break my heart.” It hurts so good! Working Breed classify their music as art rock, and “Cicada”s muggy cicada call samples and spooky singing saw (the alien spaceship instrument from your favorite childhood cartoons) are certainly unusual, but the closest comp for me would have to be eccentric Texas rockers Fair To Midland, who, interestingly, also named an album after an insect. Give “Cicada” and the rest of Hieroglyphica a listen if you like rock music with an avant-garde touch.