Follow us:

Soundposts

A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

September 10, 2013 at 2:32 AM

‘Deserve’ by B.C.’s Weed a high-grade debut | Album review

Weed

Vancouver, B.C. band Weed, from left: Kevin Doherty, Will Anderson, Bobby Siadat, Hugo Noriega. Photo by Andrew Volk.

Vancouver foursome Weed’s 2012 EP “Gun Control” sounded like it was recorded on a rain-soaked boom box in a drafty suburban garage in 1992. But even that couldn’t dampen or disguise singer-guitarist Will Anderson’s off-the-charts melodic instincts. And for all its grungy bluster, the Canadians’ first full-length “Deserve” — out Tuesday on Seattle’s Couple Skate label — is a pop record at heart.

Drenched in feedback and willfully detuned, opener “Heal” (listen) segues confidently into churning first single “Set Me Back” (listen). As guitarist Kevin Doherty, bassist Hugo Noriega and drummer Bobby Siadat ratchet up the intensity, Anderson’s melancholic mumble morphs into a Cobain-ian caterwaul.

Mid-album gems “Hollowed Out” (listen) and “Your Right” (listen) match shoegaze grandiosity to energetic punk rhythms, while “Gun Shy” (listen) and “Granted” (listen) feature deft drop-D chord changes, major-minor key shifts and unglued fury to rival the early work of bands like Dinosaur Jr. or …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. Warped guitar noise bookends nearly every song, giving the 27-minute LP a decidedly live feel.

Though more elaborate than the purposefully lo-fi “Gun Control,” no one is going to accuse “Deserve” of being overproduced. The record’s tonal language ranges from overdriven to distorted to completely blown-out, and its muffled drum sounds suggest the band tours so hard Siadat can’t find time to replace his battered heads and cracked cymbals.

Or maybe he just doesn’t care to. Where lesser musicians might use limited resources as an excuse for laziness, Anderson, Doherty, Noriega and Siadat treat it as a challenge, wringing rich emotions from cheap equipment and winning hooks from cacophonous murk.

With “Deserve,” Weed emerge as wild-cards of Vancouver’s fertile punk scene, which, last year, saw local products like White Lung and Nü Sensae shed similarly scuzzy beginnings for crossover success and critical acclaim. Though the band’s sound is as hazy as its name implies, its future seems anything but.

Stream the whole album here, and check out the band’s recent KEXP on-air session here.

Note: Weed plays a release party Saturday at 9 p.m. at Cairo Gallery, 507 E. Mercer St., Capitol Hill, Seattle.

Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: indie-rock, lo-fi, Vancouver

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►