Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Weirding – Each Birth Is A New Disaster (2011) 61%

An underwhelming disaster, I managed to survive.

From British Colombia, Weirding's first full length was released four years ago and while I have some reservations concerning it, it's still an album that managed to blend many particular influences and it wasn't the worst things I managed to discover this week.

Releasing a LP before experimenting with demos is always a bit tacky even though access to (cheap and proficient) recording gear is way easier than it used to be. Admittedly, This band should have released some demos before this full length since I think the production frankly blows. It has way too much distortion, the bass' feedback and huge presence is simply not quite enjoyable and it doesn't quite fully fit the genre they (try) to play.

I don't think it's an appropriate production for a full album but it gives a dirty/DIY sound to the doomy stoner/sludge found on their debut and that's not always a negative thing. Weirding could benefit from a heavier than thou production since that's the sound they're going for. This production can't compare to the massive hitters of the scene (thinking of Ufomammut for instance). The immense and sometimes earth shattering is often the weapon of predilection of a stoner band and I can't that I was shattered enough with Each Birth... The sound of this album can be compared to Mastodon's excellent debut minus the trampled under hoof production. I guess I'm sort of picky as I want my doom/stoner/whatever to sound like a freaking two tons rock but eh!

Nonetheless, The trio is certainly composed of tight musicians, the sole guitar attack is fun enough and doesn't need any extra help to get the band's point across. The drums are quite impressive albeit a bit too low in the mix but they're a good complement to the mid paced to fast sound delivered without a break here. The guitarist, Tim Wearing (weirding?) is also the singer and he's sort of okay. He uses the sort of semi harsh vocals, an approach that's quite generic for the genre they play but it works well in this context. They're rightfully placed in the mix and aren't too obnoxious or overly present. I think they should be way harsher or cleaner though, they're stuck in a middle zone and could benefit from a “think outside the box” option. It would give them some originality as there's plenty of (better) bands evolving in their genre. They could be more psychedelic and be a bit more complex.

The songwriting, as mentioned in the introduction is a bit all over the place but due to the poorness of the production (or perhaps its ability to make everything sound fairly the same) it's not that apparent. They go from modern stoner metal/rock to sludge quite often and, weirdly, the best track on the album (“Drowning in Flame”) is the one that branched out into stoner catchy territories. Sometimes, the riffs just don't fit the thin and harsh production, it's quite a bit groovy and almost joyful at times even though they probably didn't want to sound like that. 

What I hear is a band that has yet to find its right sound and has some difficulties concerning their approach towards how they should present themselves. Their songs aren't bad but they're not memorable either. It's a decent debut album from a band that needs to work on its craft a little, check it out if you're a big stoner/sludge/doom aficionado. 

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