As we continue to see more and more modern acts who use touchstone, UK Shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Swervedriver, or The Jesus and Mary Chain readily as identifiable influences, it becomes important to ask the question: What separates one group of young feedback addicts from the other? It’s gotta be more than the guitar pedals, right? For the San Francisco trio, Weekend, a group who have a profound fondness for the machine shop variety of pedals popularized by A Place to Bury Strangers, the answer comes in the form of an album, Sports, and those things needed to make that collection a compelling listen from front to back. First, there’s lead single, “Coma Summer,” a strong opening statement, comprised of a stirring combination of ambient drones, piercing shrieks, and a deceptively strong melody. Then there’s the sequencing, which is impeccable. Notice how the slight ambiance of “Monday Morning” morphs into the throbbing post-punk of “Monongah, WV.” Later, the band does the reverse, as the up-tempo, dream pop of “End Times” winds itself down into the slight soundscape, “Afterimage.” It’s a pattern repeated throughout Sports, as verse-chorus-verse, gear set to shatter, pop alternates with more thoughtful, textured movements. Lastly, whether the band invokes a rowdier Stone Roses, a more melodic Sonic Youth, or a livelier Interpol, their vision and methodology for recreating art-rock, noise, and pop remains consistent. The bass is clean and agile, and routinely doubles the notes per measure played by the drums. The drums, meanwhile, routinely outhit those cascading guitars which themselves, outpace the vocals, which are sung in elongated, cloistered tones. As a result, there is a fluidity found in theses songs absent from many of their contemporaries, making Sports more than an exercise in UK Shoegaze revisited, but an album fit for any era. 9 out of 10 on The Rockometer.
MP3: Weekend – Coma Summer
MP3: Weekend – End Times