Weirds is not a heavy band. Or not heavy in the way that I’m accustomed to when reviewing God Dethroned or Suffocation. But on their début album, Swarmculture (Alcopop!) there is certainly traceable amounts of Hard Rock in Weirds’ diet. There’s also an abundance of post-Punk, synths, and even a dash of Blues in their musical makeup. Is this a case of too many cooks in studio?
On Swarmculture, somehow this musical vortex comes together like a charm. ‘Valley of Vision’ takes a churning Helmet crafted riff and couples it with verses that pay homage to Joy Division’s ‘Shadowplay.’ On ‘Old World Blue’ they scavenge the last vital riffs of that fabled genre and fill in the missing bits with large measures of Southern rock swagger. That Southern styling rears its head once again on ‘Phantom’, only this time it’s paired with lots of ambient noise and keyboards.
And while on the subject of keyboards, stay tuned for the interplay of guitar and synth on ‘Weird Sun.’ If that wasn’t enough then there are slabs of amp noise colliding with warm Tangerine Dream styled pulses on the awesome ‘Salamander’s Sister.’
And for all of Swarmculture’s excitement, I feel frustration because as much as I think it should be listened to, American commercial radio probably won’t touch it. When driving around town I occasionally listen to the local rock station only to listen to a playlist that is at least 25 years and older. Sure we occasionally get Halestorm or Shinedown, but that’s not my definition of excitement.
Today it’s fashionable for serial windbags like Gene Simmons to declare “rock is dead” but yet we’re not breaking viable artists like Weirds or Publicist UK in to the American mainstream.
So you’ve heard it here first, folks. As it turns out Rock is not dead. You just have to do a little more work to find it.