With squealing guitar, unpredictability and raspingly-delivered snarls ‘Weaves’ is a maniacal free spirit, pouring every guest a drink before threatening to down them itself.
On this self-titled debut, Ontario band Weaves seem determined to plant their stake in North America’s increasingly fertile underground rock turf. The album opens with a triumvirate of tracks well equipped to display their most vicious talents. Driven by steadfast percussion, yelping guitar and a punky disregard for convention, ‘Tick’ welcomes us in wonderfully raucous fashion. Steered by a euphoric electric ear worm, the track, one of the records most poppy, will bury itself within your internal jukebox. The tick-tocking lyricism in the middle eight betrays a tune loaded with joyous exuberance and engineered to make you listen to with a smile. Challenged with the grand task of following such an illicitly pleasant opener, ‘Birds & Bees’ slows the tempo and ramps up the attitude. Quite bluesy, but not without experimental flexes, it’s a chugging, sleazy garage rock stomper, exploding and contracting where necessary. Without rest, the armoury expands on ‘Candy’. Singer Jasmyn Burke riffs like a deliciously cold-hearted Karen O. Over a fittingly direct amalgamation of guttural musicianship she promises to “walk over you“, a confident decree from a brave and bruising track.
However their canon isn’t entirely concerned with such debauchery and abandon, ‘Eagle’ finds Weaves in near meditative form. Luxe bass smoulders beneath tickling guitar as the ambience is relaxed. Whether you find your shoulders swaying or simply your stamina agreeable to such a change of pace, it leaves the listener with a greater appreciation of Weaves’ capabilities. Further evidence of such intricacies exists most prominently in the lyrics which, although usually flush with brashness, sometime portray a more pensive and considered approach. On ‘S***hole’ we’re transported to the mind of a young woman aligning her meagre surroundings with her expectations of life in general. ‘Stress’ muses on the consequences of easy living, during which Burke proclaims herself to be “filled with ambiguity”. Given the immediacy of much of the record this might not be a conclusion one would easily jump to, it is however evidence of the singer’s penchant for honesty.
At once boisterous and contemplative, Weaves are unquestionably unafraid to challenge the norm, and their debut album proves to be a suitable vehicle for such an inclination. With fret-jumping guitar trickery, less fashionable time signatures and an unrestrained reimagining of conventional song structure scattered throughout, it will certainly keep you on your toes. There are though occasions on which such free-spirited penmanship blurs the intention. ‘Human’ is a cheerful and punky delight until it’s somewhat over-indulgent final 50 seconds, while a guitar player’s restless fingers manage to overshadow the brattish potential of ‘One More’. However it would be deeply unjust to conclude that such instances significantly sully the experience, after all there is a lot more hits than misses. Standout track ‘Coo Coo’ succeeds thanks to the artist’s willingness to forego convention, while the aforementioned ‘Tick’ is illuminated by its squirming and jumpy composition.
‘Weaves’ then is a fair showcase of much of the band’s arsenal, and will duly satisfy fans on both sides of the Atlantic awaiting upcoming tour dates. And bulging with bluesy beats, brilliantly reckless endeavour and great tunes, it will surely win them some new ones.
This Weaves article was written by Thomas Hutchinson, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson.