Monday 26 August 2013

Weekend - Jinx

Album review by

It can get a little repetitive talking about bands who are blending indie/rock and electro-pop/dance music together, but it seems to be a huge trend at the moment. Of course, this type of thing has gone on for decades, but for the current crop we can perhaps look at the success of bands like Empire Of The Sun, MGMT, The Naked and Famous and so on for pushing similar styles into the spotlight. The second album by American trio Weekend loosely fits the bill, but their sound incorporates much more from post-punk and shoegaze. It's also worth remembering that debut album 'Sports' was a much noisier affair, so they're maybe coming from a different background.

Why the change for this more accessible follow-up? Are they after a piece of the pie themselves? The answer is almost certainly no. Of course, Weekend want people to like their music and they want it to be successful, but they ain't gonna compromise for no-one. 'Jinx' isn't a studied attempt to follow trends, it's a natural progression for a band who have simply got better. Yes there's a more "pop" sound on occasion, but this isn't mainstream music by a long way (although it would be great if the mainstream did sound like this), this is simply a collection of confident, assured and still slightly abrasive songs by a band who are slowly changing through the gears. It also happens to be an astonishingly good record, and a highly consistent one; each track could be a single, even six-minute finale 'Just Drive'.

It's obvious from opening track 'Mirror' that their hearts lay in post-punk, they simply want to better their first effort. With songs of the calibre of 'Oubliette' they achieve this seemingly without batting an eyelid. A vein of shoegaze (check out 'Sirens' or 'It's Alright') is still pumping through the whole body of this album too. You can hear it in the scuzz, in the discord that lurks in the background, occasionally creeping into the limelight. 'Celebration, FL' is another high point, a place where Joy Division meet dreampop and the two fall in love. Their vision of a modern form of post-punk is perhaps best summed up on the awesome 'Adelaide', or possibly the eerie 'Rosaries'. Weekend do sound a little tidied up here, and they've also added more of a pop/electro-pop aspect, but this is an asset, it's not a cynical ploy for success. They don't need one. Weekend have strong enough songs to do away with gimmicks of any kind.

Weekend's website

Buy the album

Catch them live:

WED 04 SEP Brillobox, Pittsburgh, PA, US
THU 05 SEP The Loving Touch, Ferndale, MI, US
FRI 06 SEP Cactus Club, Milwaukee, WI, US
SAT 07 SEP 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis, MN, US
SUN 08 SEP Bourbon Theatre, Lincoln, NE, US
MON 09 SEP Hi-Dive, Denver, CO, US
THU 12 SEP The Chapel, San Francisco, CA, US
FRI 13 SEP San Diego Music Thing 2013, San Diego, CA, US
SAT 14 SEP The Void, San Diego, CA, US
SUN 15 SEP The Echo, Los Angeles, CA, US
WED 18 SEP Red 7, Austin, TX, US
THU 19 SEP Replay Lounge, Lawrence, KS, US
FRI 20 SEP The Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL, US
SAT 21 SEP Off Broadway, St Louis, MO, US
SUN 22 SEP Beachland Tavern, Cleveland, OH, US
TUE 24 SEP Double Happiness, Columbus, OH, US
WED 25 SEP High Watt, Nashville, TN, US
THU 26 SEP 529 Atlanta, GA, US
FRI 27 SEP Strange Matter, Richmond, VA, US
SAT 28 SEP Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC, US
SAT 19 OCT Ottobar, Baltimore, MD, US
SUN 20 OCT Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, PA, US
TUE 22 OCTGlasslands Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, US
WED 23 OCT Church of Boston, Boston, MA, US
THU 24 OCT Il Motore, Montreal, QC, Canada
FRI 25 OCT The Garrison, Toronto, ON, Canada
SAT 26 OCT Bug Jar, Rochester, NY, US

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