Weather Pending - And How!
Record Label: Ripe-Fruit Music
Release Date: June 23, 2009
No matter how ethereal, breathy or tame they might be, there's an arresting charm and grace at work on the debut release And How! by San Francisco's Weather Pending. Fueled by the sincere vocals of Janie Oliver, the quintet sashay through ten gauzy, nuggets of earnest, plaintive mood-rock. Oliver's smoky vocals anchor the release, but Brian Bloi's oceanic guitars and Rob Cross' melancholic beats swirl and dance in a dreamy luminescence that seems prime for a Tim Burton movie. Opener "Complicated Two," which bears the distinction of being the first song the trio wrote together, is a lilting lamentation featuring sorrowful vocals backed by vernal arrangements. The funk-rock send up "Her Thoughts To Me," is a chance for the band to show off their affinity for jamming and the song swirls like a zephyr resulting in an old school blues bash.
The urban vibe of third track "Electricity," features astrid arrangements, dub-heavy drum beats, wispy vocals and effusive, reverb-drenced guitar work. The effervescent, dub-like groove of sixth track "Tide" features some of the album's most sun-drenched moments and throws together pop, soul, reggae and hip-hop into one heckuva headturner. Companion piece and seventh track "Another Day," builds on that momentum and allows Oliver the chance to scat while an acoustic guitar costs along a hip-hop rhythm. Eighth track "Sunlight Fair" revisits their hip-hop inclinations and affords Cross the chance to swoop and swerve with his driving bass. Penultimate track "Pieces" is just as forlorn in its sentiment but features a cathartic and cinematic quality that's fueled by an electronic drum loop and Bloi's chilly guitars. Album closer "Timeless" is a Memphis R&B offering with Dusty Springfield-like vocals and weary guitar lines that seems heavily influenced by the streets of Europe.
A total collaborative effort, And How! allowed all three members the chance to bring together their individual influences making for one engaging listen. Cross' studio polish and Oliver's born vocal gifts create a sonic landscape that's dreamy, imaginative, ambitious and catchy. Their subdued, laid-back slice of rock is equal parts sweet, subdued and effervescent. Fueled by spacey reverb ballads and lo-fi, electro pop, Weather Pending have crafted one of the year's most pleasant surprises. Already a favorite with Nic Harcourt and the KCRW crowd, its only a matter of time before the East Coast finds out about this powerhouse trio.