Fairweather - Fairweather
Release Date: April, 2014
Record Label: Equal Vision
I never thought I’d be reviewing this album. I never thought Fairweather would be back. Especially not since they were one of most underappreciated bands in the early 2000s post-Something to Write Home About/Stay What You Are emo-influenced pop-punk wave. If They Move, Kill Them was an auspicious start to what should have been an explosive career, and Lusitania was a darker, more ambitious album than nearly any other released around that time – closer to a post-hardcore album than to pop-punk (but with minimal screaming). Then it all ended; Fairweather was done, and we’d never know where they could have gone from there.
On “Reset Position,” vocalist Jay Littleton asks the listener to “recover what’s been lost,” and with Fairweather, that’s just what they do. It’s like they never even left, much less for eleven years. But no, Fairweather does not in fact pick up where Lusitania left off – strangely enough, it feels like the album that should’ve come between their two full-lengths, so that the transition from youthfully energetic pop-punk to rough edged post-hardcore wouldn’t have been such a shock. It’s got the hooks like If They Move, but the grittier musicality of their sophomore album.
The band’s darker, slightly more aggressive side is fleshed out in tracks like “Memoria” and “No Flags to Fly.” The former is a haunting five-minute ballad, complete with echoing background vocals in the chorus to give a more chilling effect; the latter closes out the album with roaring, showy guitars and plodding drumming, building from a groovy, muted intro. On the other hand, the one-two punch of “Clear Skies, Full Sails” and “Kill the Silence” is sure to please fans of their debut, being two perfect gems of pop-punk tracks. The latter is almost undoubtedly the best song on the album, and a career highlight for certain.
The album starts off on the wrong foot, though. Not that “Carte Blanche” is a bad song, because it isn’t - were it longer than 1:12 it’d probably be one of the album’s better songs. Rather, it’s the fastest song here, and doesn’t really give a good indication of what’s to come. The next song, “Reset Position,” would likely fare better in the opening spot, being the perfect blend of the band’s first two albums, and it’s got a downright masterful solo in its pummeling bridge.
In all truth, I’m just glad to have Fairweather back. But to know not only have they returned to music, but they’re back with an album as good as Fairweather? Well they’ve spoiled me. Fairweather know how to make a comeback album. Now I just hope they’re preparing the follow up.