Weaves explore millennial indie on self-titled debut

WeavesFollowing the warm reception of their self-titled EP, Toronto four-piece Weaves continue their exploration of 90s US indie with a hip, millennial take on a now-treasured sound.

On their eponymous debut album, Weaves waste no time establishing themselves. Fizzy opener “Tick” bleeds cartoonish hyperactivity, with colourful nods to Nirvana, MGMT and The Flaming Lips. Vocalist Jasmyn Burke’s voice switches between a soft delivery and howling frequent outbursts, citing her main influences as Siouxsie Sioux  and Aaliyah. “Birds & Bees” harks back to classic Pixies album Doolittle, with a hint of modern (yet also 90s influenced) British indie bands such as Superfood. The pop hooks of Weaves’ music is constantly challenged by difficult musical expressionism.

What’s most interesting about Weaves is Waters’ approach to guitar playing. Layering songs with fuzzy squeals and atonal riffing, he recalls Graham Coxon at his most zany and Stephen Malkmus at his most self destructive, yet also crafting a distinctive style of his own. The opening numbers clearly establish Weaves as a well-calculated, sonically ambitious band, though the continuous yells and distorted squawks may be difficult to love for some on first listen.

Less than halfway in, “Eagle” is a much needed calming down, though still laden with Waters’ screeching feedback. At times Weaves’ calmer side can be slightly more appealing. The well crafted “Two Oceans” includes some interesting spoken word vocals, while recent single “Coo Coo” almost veers into reggae. Weaves willingness to experiment doesn’t go unnoticed, and although a few of the tracks are somewhat headache inducing, by large it works.

Your take on Weaves will likely depend on your endorsement of 90s revivalist culture. There’s no denying the songs here are well put together, sonically interesting and meticulously detailed, but the general sound is still something that has been heard before, and by large done better. The main problem here is the plausibility of their craziness. The thing that sets Weaves apart from a truly bonkers group such as the Super Furry Animals is that they sound like they are really trying their hardest to be weird. In a surprising twist, indie fans who aren’t too familiar with Pixies and Pavement may actually enjoy Weaves the most.

Release: 17th June 2016, Memphis Industries

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