Friday, 3 December 2010

Album Review: Weekend - Sports

Sports is the debut album by San Fransisco band Weekend, formed in late 2009 and signed to Slumberland Records (the same label that put out such great bands as Lilys and Black Tambourine in the early 90s) the trio offer up 11 tracks of post-punk noise that sounds best when they're not simultaneously ripping off Joy Division and The Jesus And Mary Chain.

Opening track and first single 'Coma Summer' is a completely blissed-out slice of distorted feedback-howling shoegaze pop, propelled by a pounding beat enveloped in dangerously reverberating vocals and guitars that sound like buzz saws threatening to tear away at your ears as lead singer Shaun Durkan casually sings "I awoke from a coma summer/And I found you/I awoke from a coma summer/Tell me you're true." It's so perfect in its eargasm-inducing sensory overload that the album blows its load too soon and never reaches the same gratifying peak across the remaining forty minutes. Durkan puts on his best Ian Curtis impression for second track 'Youth Haunts,' but as is the case with much of the album the buried vocals lose some of their impact when they are not tethered to a strong melody. 'Coma Summer' works so brilliantly because the contrasting elements create a cohesive balance that's instantly engaging and engrossing, and the only other track on here that comes close to reaching the same level of compositional harmony is 'End Times,' with its catchy bass riff and strong vocal hook riding a steady rhythm as waves of guitar noise swell into each other underneath. 'Monday Morning' is a great drone piece that could have been expanded; I'd definitely like to see the band do more of this, and 'Monongah, WV' takes drone influences and successfully injects them into a rousing punk number. Apart from these aforementioned highlights the album is quite a murky, disjointed affair that could have benefited from stronger production but nonetheless, the highlights are so good that I would still recommend it and I greatly look forward to the band's future output. Check out 'Coma Summer' below and be prepared to put it on repeat:

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