August 11, 2013

Weekend, "Jinx"

The latest from the grave babies in Weekend is a big, syrupy bowl of emotion. Over the five or six releases since they started out -- a 10-inch, a full-length, an EP, and a couple of singles -- singer Shaun Durkan's vocals have been gradually creeping up from the back of the fuzzy mix. And while Jinx surfs a massive wave of noise throughout, lyrically, Shaun's wings are fully spread. It turns out he has quite a lot to say. The cerebral impact is heavy -- headphones recommended. As far as the sonics, there are a lot of references in here that you'll recognize, especially if you're a fan of late 1980s and early 1990s alternative rock, "120 Minutes" stuff. Which, for me, was high school in suburban Southern California, so these songs really hit the big bell over my head when it comes to the mood I like and the sounds I like to hear. But I don't think Weekend is waxing reductive or just aping shit that's come before. These guys are songwriters and craftsmen. There's an aesthetic that they are absolutely dedicated to. And while the mode may be familiar, the grooves are new and surprising. Also, one thing I can't get over is how many flavors of fuzz there are all over the record. The band and its producer (Monte Vallier from Ruminator Audio, the same man behind the boards on all the band's releases) worked overtime to explore every single dark corner, scraping the alien scuzz off the rocks, stashing it in a specimen jar and pouring it onto the tape. As a rare bonus, they are very adept at reproducing the full wash of noise on stage. Check out this live-in-the-studio set.