Weekend “Jinx” – Album Review

July 23rd Slumberland Records
Neonzine Exclusive

San Francisco via  Brooklyn/ New York City noise terrorists Weekend return with there sophomore album ” Jinx “. As lead singer/bassist Shaun Durkan says “If you think we were loud and obnoxious before, you’re gonna hate this”. Indeed it is loud in its qualities, like any good record, and a sonic blast mindfuck where your asking why these guitars make your head feel a mess and how did they manage to make that guitar sound ??? Is that even a guitar ???

Out July 23rd on Slumberland Records ( Echo Lake/ Veronica Falls/ Pains of Being Pure at Heart) its a return to force from the Sacramento band after their incredible and  unsearchable via internet (hence the name) debut `Sports´. The Sophomore release ups the ante, adds the pedals, detunes and retunes guitars, poundings on broken strings, chases you, and delivers. Boy does it deliver. Clearly influenced by  Robert Smith´s guitar drone from the Cure, mixed with a visceral punk stab to the jugular. These boys don´t fuck around, the only colour is black, the only solution is noise.
Opening song `Mirror´ begins with haunting, religious, ethereal like overtones, before a quick 1234 entry, first the guitar stabbing, our friends static and feedback welcome us back, stare and spit us in the face, and comes bass, drums and voice. It´s big, its fucking huge, its staring from the brooklyn bridge at the Manhattan skyline and imagining higher, and not giving a fuck, where the smart suit motherfuckers look down from across the river with a gold tooth grin and the artists hits them back.
Fuck your money.   It´s wham, bam, thankyou, mam.

Weekend lead you into their derelict basement, you might never get out alive, but it might just be worth it. ” Half-man half-gone a body paused on the edge of living ” chants Shaun Durkan, his voice more and more open, whereas previously hidden behind a static wall of noise and destruction, the production has moved forward, where once there was a drowned in sound voice, now we can feel his pain. It´s devastating, terribly intimate portait of the harsh realities of life, a self realisation, Durkan has had his problems in the past, and here they show like scars, looking in the mirror, but we hang on, we grip like a vice, we get up and we move on. Music saves us. “He only comes in the night”. Everyone can relate, its looking at yourself and finding a total stranger, 3 days not knowing sleep or whatever the threshold pushing the body to the limit. The final stamp of authority on a lost soul “I feel sick, sick, sick, in my heart“. If imitation its the sincerest form of flattery, repetition is the sincerest form of memory. And memories dont go away. And then there are the drums, he isnt hitting a snare, what IS that noise?? its an echo reverb, its the sound of a man setting fire to a steel phone box and destroying it with an armory of weapons, for no reason. Just pure mayhem.
Weekend dont seem like a band to enjoy summer, maybe a reason why they hauled it from sunny California to dreary NYC, possibly it was self punishment, a  frantic flagellation, you can hear it in the sounds. Theres, drone, theres derelict, its living in a unrelenting shithole and leaving the door open at night, who might enter?? a long lost love or enemy ??? Guitars are frequenced like bass, and vice versa. Weekend maybe felt confined way out west, now they opened up, guitars cutting through like a icy hudson river wind on a December morning. For all not knowledgable on Medieval French torture and imprisonment technique, 3rd song and album highlight ” Oubliette ” refers to a dungeon only accessibile from a hatch in a high ceiling. Durkan is a fan of Alexandre Dumas `La Reine`, more so an oubliette is more symbolic with regard to cruelty, power, hidden. the contrary of enlightement values. Weekend´s music and method to relies on symbolism, quasi religious tones, imagery, all in black. ” Where did it go?” or is it “Where did we go???” cries Durkan on said song, scratching at stigmata, cutting into our temples, evidence of Weekend to how they leave us bloody, but wanting to come back for more. The bass is gripped and clawed with a worrying anxiety, and takes songs, snatches them like the childcatcher, with a muddy, pounding flow. It´s bass to match the serpent god DIIV devil child Devin Ruben Perez. There is a colourless ” rainbow ” hidden somewhere in the lyrics, or maybe it could be interpreted as ” bow to the rain ” .

The guitar, what does it sounds like? It sounds like being operated on with cold steel blades for keyhole brain surgery while fully awake, under no anesthetic, and enjoying it.
“Celebration, FL” comes in by surprise, an ecstasy warmth, almost a Manchester baggy anthem, mixing a Blue Order rhythm with an echo from fellow British bastards and 21st century legends The Horrors, with the drums high hat stomp almost even of a DFA beat. The song, an obvious doomed depiction of ” the community” ( Celebration being a Disney Town in Florida) is a Screamadelic dancing drive with a nod to Depeche Mode´s Dave Gahan and Simple Mind´s Jim Kerr.
Its a party where the drugs are not working, but you are trying your hardest to bring them out.

Original demo and now full album song, “Siren“, brings with it more experimental, electronic beats and industrial echo and sees Weekend ride with JAMC. Starting with a rattling mantra of Sigur Ros proportions, there are the drums, they just get you, hold you in a vicelike grip, choke you like a noose round the neck. The pace picks up again in the second half, ” Adelaide “, a more frantic and expansive effort, where Durkan beams “ I wanna save you from the world “, confident, lyrically and personally, not the ´jinx´ that maybe he once felt that he was before. The music is a cold sheen, almost like the whiteness of a hospital, but in contrary, darkness is sought, cold and direct, guitars disappear at an exact moment, static and feedback linger in the background then explode everywhere like nail bomb. Weekend come out on this record, loud and screaming. ” It´s alright” is a Weekend love song, with an Imprerial Destroyer guitar set to stun, a phaser, a spaceship otherwordly effect a la Nick Valensi.

Rosaries ” harks back to California, its a victory lap, its driving alone with the sun on your back a free man, the path to enlightenment is sought and won, ” Without you” Durkan affirms, a consoler of the lonely, just get in a car and fucking drive. Theres a beautiful, cold, metallic quality to the sound of Weekend. When once being described fellow noisepunks and Glasgow heroes Lowlife, the writer heard “ kind of a deep tinny quality to their sound, like being in a submarine (or what I´d imagine that might be like)”.

Listening to the Weekend feels like a floating sensation, like being in a Sensory Deprivation Tank, except less ´Sensory deprivation´ and more sensory plenty, more hightening. `Scream Queen´ returns Weekend to their haunting best, “I dont suffer”, a declaration of intent, a way forward from the anxiety and lyrical self polarisation of first song ” Mirror” .

Album 6 minute closer “Just Drive” pounds along at a fast pace, bass whining, an ode to leave all problems behind, and go, never stopping, move on. Weekend ” Jinx ” never stops, leaving the listener wanting more, its sounds like there´s no stopping this band. No cobwebs or dust dare touch on this record. File it under instant classic. Once Weekend were compared to Jesus and Mary Chain. It could be that it was an isolation of their musical talent. There is no doo-wop 50´s influence to be found, in relation to guitars and feedback yes. Weekend however, combine this with an industrial, metallic, sound, even verging to early 90´s manchester baggy to krautrock, drone and punk. To compare anyone to Jesus and Mary Chain, is of a compliment, the writer being from Glasgow. But then again, every person ever to pick up a guitar since JAMC is influenced by them in some way, shape or form, such is their might.

Weekend sound like the best parts of every Glasgow band put together. A higher compliment than that can´t be given.

written by
Mike Williams