Words by Nicholas Parco
In the growing scene of punk/indie-sounding crossovers, Weatherbox may not be the first band that comes to mind. Brain Warren’s California-based project that features a revolving door of touring members has had a dedicated following on the West coast since the 2007 debut American Art, but has not hit it big. Yet.
Expect that to change with the release of Flies in All Directions, a near-perfect collection of post-punk songs with a hint of alternative to all of them.
“Pagan Baby”, the opening track, sets the bar for the album high. With one of the better, bigger choruses, the song’s opening guitar chord progression has the welcoming feel of a catchy pop song you would find on an early Weezer album.
That contagious sound, in combination with even stronger lyrics (‘If you wanna start living/you’re gonna have to leave me behind, Cause I’m a pagan baby/and I’m staying indoors tonight’), makes it hard to not let the album continue to play.
That captivating sound bleeds right into the next track, “Bring Us The Head Of Weatherbox.” The chant of “wake up!” throughout the whole song that is swallowed up by a guitar riff breakdown that sounds like Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock wrote it is the perfect microcosm of how ambitious the whole record is.
The Hold Steady comparison that has been thrown at Weatherbox shines towards the middle of the album on “Radio Hive.” Take away Warren’s vocals (nobody sounds quite like Craig Finn) and the song could pass as one of the Minnesota-based band’s hits.
From top to bottom, Warren has put together a special collection of personal yet relatable songs. Part Modest Mouse, part The Hold Steady, and part Death Cab For Cutie, the album has the indie-sounding power of some of the most successful bands in the scene, yet Warren manages to put his own grungy and punk twist on it. That perfect blend is what makes this record the first must-listen to of the summer.
“Flies In All Directions”
Triple Crown/Favorite Gentlemen Records
© May 13th, 2014
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