ALBUM REVIEW: WEIRDS – ‘SWARMCULTURE’

'this album is huge. It’s a whirling maelstrom of a journey. At times delicate, at times growlingly bombastic. There are tunes (tunes you can hum), tracks you can dance to, tracks you can stomp to, and tracks that deserve nothing less than a set of headphones and a darkened room'

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I first caught WEIRDS playing on a sunny afternoon at Bingley Music Live and was hugely impressed – both with the music and with the performance. So it was with a sense of anticipation that I sat down for my first listen to the band’s debut album.

I wasn’t disappointed, this album is huge. It’s a whirling maelstrom of a journey. At times delicate, at times growlingly bombastic. There are tunes (tunes you can hum), tracks you can dance to, tracks you can stomp to, and tracks that deserve nothing less than a set of headphones and a darkened room.

For those of you who haven’t heard WEIRDS they are the unholy collision of grunge, sludge, psych, psychedelia, hints of post-punk and acid/space rock, and, yes, poppy hooks. Sometimes you’re going to get all of this in one track. It’s one of those ‘it shouldn’t work but it does’ sounds.

The band have already released ‘Phantom’ from the album, and a video for ‘Valley of Vision’ (which you watch at the top of this review). You can stream ‘Phantom’ below.

This is going to give you an idea what you’re in for come release day. Or perhaps I should say ‘some idea’ because there is much more to the album than these.

The album opens with one of my favourites ‘Things That Crawl’. Don’t let the opening fool you, you’re going to dumped into a heavy riff, it’s one of those ‘what the hell’ moments that WEIRDS do oh so well. The fact that what comes after the riff is something completely different should come as no surprise. This track builds into the most wonderful climax. Just yummy.

Skipping neatly over ‘Valley of Vision’ – you’ve already listened to that haven’t you – we come to ‘Old World Blues’. It’s what I can only describe as Tom Waits doing metal. It roars, it screams, it does the blues stomp. It even sounds vaguely like 80s Southern Rock (a la Blackfoot) at one point. Listening tip – turn it up to 11.

‘Black Desert’ is a post-punkish epic, lush and it has this great poppy break. ‘Weird Sun’ smothers you in Madchester sounds, sprinkled with riffs, before mutating into something that sounds like 80s Here & Now, and ending in a sludge workout. It works, it works brilliantly.

Another of my favourites ‘Crows’ is a delicately arranged almost ballad-like track (at least when compared to some of the tracks before). It bends, it’s sinuous. ‘Salamander’s Sister’ weaves it’s musical magic on you. ‘Tunnelling’ is a doom laden track that sets you up for the final track ‘Past Life’. While this may start sounding like it’s going to be a psych influenced rock track, it explodes, it goes all post-punk.

This album is music for people who love music, not just people who buy stuff because it’s labelled with a genre that’s ‘hip ‘n’ trendy’. It’s music produced by a band who know their stuff, who know how to take influences from music they like and turn it into something that is their music.

So, do I love it? Yep I do. Should you buy it? Yep you should.

The album is out on 26th May via Alcopop! Records.

The info

WEIRDS are:

Aidan Razzall – Vocals
Matthew Vaughan – Bass
Zachary Thomas – Guitar
David Nash – Drums

Twitter: https://twitter.com/weirdsband
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/weirdsband/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/weirds