Weatherbox – American Art
Label: Doghouse Records
Release Date: May 8, 2007
As a (faux) reviewer, I have started listening to music differently. My roommates don’t understand it. They will happen upon me listening to something and remark, “That sounds horrible.” I then go into a long-winded speech about how it might not be immediately pleasing, but that the music still has plenty of redeeming qualities. I talk about the chords or the meaning behind some obscure lyric. This usually scatters them pretty quickly, my personal ninja bomb. So, it was nice to hear American Art, the debut full-length from Weatherbox. An immediately likable and catchy release of pop-punk/rock, this album warranted no comment except, “Who is this?”
With a sound somewhere in between Say Anything (especially vocally) and I Am The Avalanche, Weatherbox might be the next big band from Doghouse Records. Brian Warren’s vocals aren’t extremely melodic, but his frail, sing/yell delivery carves an enjoyable path over the instruments. His voice is very refreshing and the amount of emotion conveyed on acoustic downer “Untitled” and harmonica accompanied “The Drugs” is astounding. These folky numbers add so much depth (and lyrical achievement) to an album of mostly speedy rockers.
Not to say that the faster songs are easily forgotten, opener “Atoms Smash” features a gang chorus and a slithering riff with constant, loud cymbals. Right from the beginning, Weatherbox prove their capability of writing a rock song. And this is only a debut; impressive. Not surprisingly, the awesomely titled “I Worship Raw Beats” is a showcase of excellent drumming. Marc Deriso’s use of snare and hip-hop drumbeats throughout the release is quite impressive. He is also given plenty of chances to shine on tracks “Drop the Mike” and “Snakes, Our Ground”.
Longer songs “Trippin’ The Life Fantastic” and “The Dreams” allow for more novelty in a genre known for swift, short songs. These tracks do not become repetitive and show the promise of even greater diversity in songwriting for subsequent releases. The future looks promising for Weatherbox, and there is no question about it, American Art is a massive success.
Recommended If You Like: Say Anything, I Am The Avalanche, screaming until hoarse, Set Your Goals, prototypical non-conformists.