Weekend – Red EP (Slumberland Records)

weekend redcover print


Red is the third EP from San Francisco natives Weekend, and follows on fairly tightly from their previous releases, which have had a very grunge/indie vibe typical of Slumberland Records’ artists. The group demonstrate a lo-fi, shoegaze sound throughout Red, and their general influences seem to be drawn from the likes of Sonic Youth and The Jesus and Mary Chain, who are currently experiencing a renaissance of interest at the moment.

The group label their work as post-punk, and although there are elements of the likes of The Smiths and Joy Division within Red, in reality the group’s music is much more reminiscent of American west coast rock than anything else. In fact, Weekend’s work is so reminiscent of this music era that at times it borders on pastiche rather than a legitimate modernisation or alteration on the grunge style. Much of this EP exhibits little more than a dull wash of feedback-ridden guitars and dated timbres, with a melancholy outlook. “Golfers”, the last track on the EP is particularly guilty of this, and at a length of over five minutes is fairly monotonous and indulgent.

There are other tracks that show promise however. “The One You Want” is quite nicely upbeat, interesting and quirky, and “Hazel”, the only track that to my mind has more obvious post-punk influences, has a nicely complex bassline and low, heavily reverbed vocals that sound quite reminiscent of The Drums.

At times Red comes close to some interesting post-punk moments, with a degree of versatility, and even in the more prominent grunge inspired tracks there is a clear degree of artistry; at times they come close to building up and atmosphere, albeit a heavily sombre one. But Weekend never really delivery fully with this EP. It is essentially a rather despondent, dry, lifeless affair, grinding through the tracks with an air that heavy effects and sluggish vocals are enough to inspire and engage the listener in some way. For me, at least, they are not.

Released 20/09/11

[Rating: 2]

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