Monday, 27 August 2018

EP Review - When U Were Weird by Weekend Lovers (2018) (Self Released)


Weekend Lovers are a three piece hailing from Tucson, Arizona. I went there once on business. It was the sort of place that only America really has. A big town that appears to have just landed in the middle of a stinking hot desert surrounded by all manner of ridiculously beautiful mountain ranges.

It's the sort of place that the inner child in me wants to believe once had various brave sheriffs defeating bands of armed highwaymen (or is that England?) and dodging all manner of arrows twanged from the bows of angry Red Indians who were double determined to stop him rescuing some gorgeous Ellie May Clampett type southern maiden. 


Those of you who read this blog regularly will know that I am prone to the sort of flowery machinations displayed above, however in essence I always feel that such American desert towns always appear to convey that strange juxtaposition beauty and harsh that such terrains have to offer and this album adroitly expresses such antagonistic qualities.

Initially the opening half of the album appears to concentrate on beauty. The stunning atmospherics of the opening track, Grand Royale (see below), just about escapes being classed as The Mekons style dream-pop by virtue of the fact that their is a forceful insistence to Marta DeLeon's soprano that avoids any connotations of 'dream pop fluffy'  and is layered onto the sort of twanging jangled guitar riffs that sums up the best of modern American jangle-pop. 



The best of the opening three 'beauty' tracks is Hate, which starts off with an accentuation of the twanging jangle and is reminiscent of Real Estate type beauty as DeLeon gradually  drops a vocal octave and becomes increasing passionate as the track fervently develops into totally darker scenario, complete with chunky post punk bass lines and a Patti Smith type vocal intensity and snipe. It is almost as if the tracks transition from beauty to darkness is a signal that the EP is about to change...and change it does.

It is in the 2nd half of the album that Weekend Lovers emphasize their intent to prevent the sort of cloying irritation that only too much beauty can incite. Makin Boize starts the 'anti-nice' tracks off with a thumping percussion and a Dinosaur Jnr style 'buzzsaw riff' to back Chrissie Hynde type sententious vocals, as the atmosphere moves definitively into the malevolent.



This aesthetic continues through the penultimate track, The Messenger, until the EP's Magnum Opus is reached in the final track of Sex on The Beach (see above). This track grumbles with an anti-power pop bass line that almost borders on the repetition of punk, before occasionally breaking out into the sort of anti-melodic riffs that the weirdest of jangle-pop (think The Feelies, The UV Race and Pylon) have gloriously forced upon the world. It a whole lot of 'anti's' forced together and is the absolute completion of the contrast this release offers.

Weekend Lovers are one of those bands we really 'need' to hang around to keep jangle-pop moving in different, perverse and defiant directions.

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