Release Date: Jul 23, 2013
Record label: Slumberland
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Noise Pop
There’s always that visceral, outstanding music that comes through from start to finish like an echo from beyond. You hear it in a lot of shoegaze from Slowdive to My Bloody Valentine. ‘80s synth masters like New Order and The Cure also manufactured this kind of sound-from-beyond to near perfection. These kinds of sonics surely had an impact because so many current bands are trying to duplicate and update them.
While technology such as the internet has brought about many positives for artists and bands, it also holds many pitfalls - such as the insurmountable deluge of releases pushed out on a weekly basis. What this can often mean is an incredible record can go months without being heard, buried amidst a sea of inferior others. Occasionally such gems may sail off into oblivion, never to be seen or heard again.
Take a tour of the 2013 festival circuit and you will find definitive proof, if any were still needed, of the rejuvenation of the late '80s/early '90s shoegaze movement. It's tempting to label the bands currently riding the wave as "post-shoegaze," but Weekend neatly demonstrates why such a label is a bit of a misnomer. New album Jinx carries on in much the same vein as debut LP Sports: a band not so much influenced by the sound of Killing Joke and The Brian Jonestown Massacre as recreating it.
The San Francisco trio Weekend's first album, Sports, was a moody blast of noise rock goodness that they followed up with a more nuanced EP, Red, that showed the band had some pop songwriting skills to go with the squalls of guitar overload. Their second full-length, Jinx, does a fine job of combining the noise and pop aspects of their sound while adding a nice amount of post-punk-inspired gloom and shoegaze-fueled energy to the mix to create something that's kinda exciting, kinda bummer, but always thoroughly listenable. Split between songs that have claustrophobic atmosphere with propulsive rhythms and songs with slightly less claustrophobic atmosphere and not quite as propulsive rhythms, the record casts a shadow over the listener that doesn't fully drift away until quite a while after the album is over.
On Jinx, Weekend has sanded down and polished up the jagged edges from its capable debut album, Sports. The Brooklyn-via–San Francisco rock trio’s love for The Killing Joke and The Cure is still present, but Shaun Durkan (vocalist/bassist/guitarist), Kevin Johnson (guitarist) and Abe Pedroza (drummer) continue to show a pinpoint focus for rafter-raising melodies and a lustrous production aesthetic. These post-punk/new-wave tracks rumble by with a forcefulness not heard since the ’80s.
WeekendJinx[Slumberland; 2013]By Joshua Pickard; October 3, 2013Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGSan Francisco rockers Weekend like noise – and lots of it. If you give a quick listen to their 2010 debut record, Sports, you’ll immediately be greeted with towers of gushing distortion and thundering waves of dense percussion. Though far from being some heaving mass of undifferentiated sound, the band actually managed to impart some semblance of individuality into the record, allowing it to expand and contract in continuous rhythmic expulsions.
Post-punk was bred sometime during the latter half of the ’70s. A sort of antithesis, the subgenre harnessed the frenzy of punk rock and spurted it out with white-noise clamors and industrial clangs. In 2013, the lines between genres are vanishing, yet one steadfast truth remains: genres, like movements, are bred from disillusionment and discontentment.
This San Francisco trio, now in Brooklyn, started out noisier with an album I loved, Sports, in 2010. They toured with the Kills and with Wire, and their post-punk take conveyed verve, cogency, and talent. Familiar as it seemed to fans such as myself from templates 30-odd years ago, it satisfied. Honed and confident, it connected.
The Jesus & Mary Chain has always been the most obvious starting point when explaining the music of shoegaze trio Weekend – so obvious, in fact, that it feels a bit lazy even starting my review with the comparison. But you have to admit that the comparison in not only sound, but career trajectory, have been uncanny. Like Psychocandy before it, Mary Chain’s punishing, legendary debut, Weekend’s 2010 debut, Sports, was uncompromising in its dedication to coat nearly every hook and chorus with walls of terrifying distortion.
When you release a record like Sports, the 2010 debut from San Francisco ex-pats Weekend, the smartest thing you can do is tour the hell out of it. Tapping into a strain of noisy, shadowy post-punk, it succeeded largely because of its texture. Carried on waves of serrated guitar, it was not only bracingly cathartic on headphones, but captivating, malleable, and very loud on the stage.
If you're going to do melancholy, why not do loud melancholy? That seems to be the motto for Weekend, the sad-eyed guitar boys with the incongruously cheery name. They spun heads with their noise-loving debut, but they take a massive jump on Jinx – this isn't just a monster guitar album, it's a monster groove album. Weekend go widescreen with a goth sense of grandeur, as desperate longing rings out over postpunk steel-on-steel rhythm.
For all its petulant shoegaze noise, a dense, swirling mass of feedback and fuzz that swallowed singer Shaun Durkan's distorted wail—and any worthwhile melodies—whole, Weekend's 2010 debut, Sports, still managed to impact on a purely emotional level. With the deafening static dialed back to less abrasive levels, the San Francisco band's aptly titled sophomore effort, Jinx, starts out promising, with a few well-crafted and consistently surprising gems, but the lackluster backend seems far too content to tread water. “Mirror,” the album's first single, kicks things off with an extended intro that reaffirms Weekend's propulsive rhythm section as the band's hyperactive engine.
Apparently, ‘Jinx’, the second album from San Franciscan shoe-gazing pals Weekend, was born of a democratic process. The process (and yes, it’s possible to mis-interpret such things; bear with us) of taking things that belong to each member of the group – vocalist/bassist Shaun Durkan, guitarist Kevin Johnson and drummer Abe Pedroza – putting them together, and painting them black. Adding “a new, collective ownership over the previous personal meaning”, so we’re told.Other than any artistic statements, that should mean it’s a black record.
Ambiguous band names can do more harm than good. For instance, if you do an online search for the group Girls, you are redirected to the popular HBO series as opposed to the band. A search for “Weekend” produces the result of a 2011 feature film, countless deals for “Cheap Weekend Getaways!”, as well as the Wikipedia page for the definition of the difference between “the workweek” and “the weekend,” which is apparently a difficult distinction to make.
French Montana EXCUSE MY FRENCH. How do you solve a problem like French Montana? For the last couple of years, he’s made a cottage industry of lifting bits of old hip-hop songs and redelivering them in his sleepy drawl, a strategy that only intermittently worked on his recent debut album, .