Few releases have caught my attention recently quite like Worker’s newest EP Neurology. While not necessarily the best EP I’ve heard in the past few months, it earns the distinction of being the most interesting for sure.
What makes Worker’s approach to songwriting so unique is their clear willingness to defy convention, incorporating lots of sonic elements most of their contemporaries would likely shy away from adding in their sound. In this way, these six songs remind me a bit of Snapcase and Vision Of Disorder… not that Worker sounds much like these bands (although they all share a certain grooviness I tend to love), but they toy with not just songwriting, but also production in an effort to step outside the box. If a comparison had to be drawn, it’d probably be to newer Comeback Kid, yet that still deprives Worker of the true innovativeness apparent on Neurology.
Another aspect helping Worker create something fresh is vocalist Ryan Rado’s interesting and honest lyrics, primarily focused around his own neurological disorders (which are documented in a series of videos here) such as Tourette’s Syndrome, OCD, and ADD. These personal struggles have clearly impacted Rado’s life greatly, providing great fodder for introspective, raw lyricism that stands apart from the hordes of cookie cutter clichés spewed by so many bands these days.
The definite standout track is the EP’s opener, “Back To The Clinic,” which explodes with just those words and a powerful drum build up that leads into thick, jarring guitars. Unfortunately, no other song on the EP ever quite hits the same level of energy, as the band tends to err towards a more rock feel. Nevertheless, they do continue to stir up thought-provoking music for Rado to belt his well-phrased words over, reaching another high point with the third song, “Personification.” The EP concludes with the acoustic instrumental “The Clearest Light” which almost feels like the end of a rollercoaster when you’re still high from the adrenaline of the ride, but waiting patiently to get back to the exit. An unconventional end to an equally unconventional EP.
Worker are clearly playing with some interesting ideas on Neurology, but I hope they keep at it and create an even better follow-up. A couple of these songs are great and the entire EP hints at something very promising… I just hope they deliver.