Whatever you do, don't ask the members of your favorite group why they start side projects. The answer is always the same old cliche: "We have all these songs that don't fit with our main band, blah blah blah." The Wheel, however, means it. Nathaniel Rateliff, along with his Born in the Flood bandmate Joseph Pope, began the Wheel as an outlet for their slower and more somber material. Like a foot race against a fading pulse, the act's sketchy folk holds the power to both exhilarate and exhaust -- and within its rickety fencing, Rateliffe's voice is given ample acreage to roam, soar, sigh and sob. In fact, at its sleepiest and weepiest, the Wheel is better than Born in the Flood. Now all we need from the band is a CD. Now.