The term ‘post-punk’ could not be any more ambiguous – hell, it basically sums up everything ever recorded past 1977. But of course, labeling music gets more precise – ‘shoegazer’ and ‘industrial’ are more pedantic and help music listeners understand time and place rather than broad generalizations. We’ve come a long way since the birth of the punk, shoegaze and industrial nomenclatures and for many, these genres have been carved and copied endlessly, to the point of becoming completely cliché. However, every once in a while bands spring up resurrecting new sounds and styles and completely make it their own. If done right, those old sounds again sound fresh and restore faith in diehard music lovers – it is why what some people may call obsessive compulsive, we call religion.
San Francisco’s Weekend have joined the ranks of few bands to shuffle up old sounding, ’80s ambiance and give it a new twist. Their recent LP, Sports, is a unique flavor of, dare I say it, “post punk squall,” It indeed embodies the strongest elements of noise pop ambiance, gloomy dream pop and a hard, garage-y guitar sound. Even better, it incorporates later versions of the same elements, such a No Wave era Sonic Youth, most notably the album’s opener “Coma Summer.” Clocking in at almost seven minutes, the song reveals Weekend to be ambitious songwriters, to say the least, yet sure to keep their listeners in rapt attention.
The heavily textured and semi-instrumental (weird backwards sounding vocals if you could call it that) ” Monday Morning,” is pure noise. Fans of No Age-esque interlude ambiance and power-drone can definitely get behind the weirdness of this track, which leads into the thunderous, Joy Division-inspired “Monongah, WV.” Beginning with a watery and melodic bassline, this song encapsulates elements of dreamy shoegazer much to the tune of My Bloody Valentine and is easily one of the standout tracks of the album. Elements of Killing Joke can be heard on tracks such as “Landscape” and “Age Class,” while “Veil” is a spiritually moving in its own right. Beginning slowly, the track builds momentum leading to a mind-blowing climax and one of many ‘holy shit’ moments on the album.
The album ends on a high note, with “Untitled,” a powerful crescendo of straight ahead drumming and a loud guitar wale seeping in a long, far away vocal echo – another Weekend staple. Where many bands fail to deliver, Weekend nail the coffin shut with a rare and delightful twist to an old sound and, like few before it, restore my faith in trusting in post-punk generalizations.
MP3: “Coma Summer”