One wonders if San Francisco’s Weekend were poking fun at Huey Lewis and The News, who also hail from the Bay, by naming their debut album Sports. Whatever the case, these guys are pretty much the complete opposite of generic bar bands, and it is highly doubtful that they’d appeal to the popped-collar jock set. The trio, consisting of Shaun Durkan on vocals and bass, Kevin Johnson on guitar, and drummer Abe Pedroza, create intense sounds drawn from British post-punk and shoegazer scenes. Fans of like-minded A Place To Bury Strangers should investigate immediately, as should anyone who likes noise coupled with melody. Upon hearing this record, a friend of mine who normally prefers Amphetamine Reptile influenced noise rock, praised Weekend for sounding like what Interpol should be engaged with at this point.
Sports begins with a one-two punch few bands can muster. “Coma Summer” and “Youth Haunts” stun with fierce Jesus and Mary Chain styled feedback, almost industrial in intensity, and Joy Division’s claustrophobic atmospheres. Durkan’s vocals are a tad reminiscent of Ian Curtis and Interpol’s Paul Banks, but a bit more hushed and less prominent in the mix, as the band’s brutal screeds tend to take center stage. Even when Weekend displays their poppier side, especially on “End Times,” which flows like the best of early Ride, the group displays plenty of grit. Perhaps best of all is “Age Class,” which begins with heavy beats before kicking into a noisy yet melodic maelstrom, featuring drilling distortion that nearly drowns out Durkan’s vocals.
Slumberland Records has long been the perfect home for American bands playing British music better than British bands. With the imprint now adding Weekend to a lineup already including the likes of Crystal Stilts, Pains of Being Pure At Heart, and Procedure Club, this point is driven home more than ever.Visit: Weekend | Slumberland
Purchase: Insound | eMusic