One of the best Christmas presents I got this year was Weedpecker‘s latest album. III. Since picking it up, I’ve been lost in its dreamscapes daily, revelling in the profoundly beautiful arrangements and sublime tones pumped out from the band. From my first listen I knew this would be one of my soundtracks to 2018, spun on repeat, rain or shine. Not only does III give me the chills on a regular basis when focused in with the music loud, it’s also wonderful to completely zone out to with it rolling around your ears in the background.
I admittedly hadn’t heard the bands previous records before hearing III, but from my short journey with the band, I must consider it their magnum opus. Not only is the production slick, the instrumentation that the 3 band members create is so clearly matured beyond the sound of the fresh bands this website reports upon, making this a real delight to review for you all. There’s more fuzz than a cats winter coat in this album, and tracks like “Liquid Sky” tear through multiple segments with ease. I love how gritty reverbs lead off into groovy guitar riffs, frenetic drums rumble into soft oscillations in the background, keeping you hooked in on the palette of sound presented to the listener.
This band is certainly one of my favourites from Poland off the back of this record and their back catalogue, and I’m damn excited to catch them when they tour Europe next. III is unsurprisingly the bands third record, and it’s great looking back at what’s changed. In II the guitars are more prominent in the mix, and sound much rawer, whilst in III the guitars blend in and sound more enveloping, creating a deeper sense of immersion. Comparing them to like minded bands is quite easy, with their sound akin to labelmate Elder‘s last 3 albums, most notably Lore, and the fuzz similar to Void Cruisers album Wayfarer.
The first track of the album “Molecule” begins very dreamy, with soft warbles beginning the immersion into the trip ahead. Before long, the full soundscape rocks onto the scene with deep bass and tight bluesy drums kicking in. This sound encapsulates the user in a soft blanket of fuzz, and I cannot describe the numbers of times I got chills from this introduction of this noise, the last time I got hit like this was from DVNE‘s “The Crimson Path”. “Molecule” continues to get better, with the band cranking up the heavy and bringing an overwhelming grungy frontier to their music.
There’s some impressive distortion work on the guitars and I loved the slow rhythmic drums used by the man on the sticks Falon, which quickly switches into fast paced drums whilst keep the flow of the song rumbling onwards. The bluesy influences flow in the second song “Embrace”. The vocals in this song are also worth a shout out (though they are great throughout), but they are particularly soothing in this song. Midway through, after a superb rambling instrumental section, soft vocals reminding you to wake up roll around your ears before completely pulling you back as they lead the groovy guitar riffs and Weedpecker bring you back to reality. I’m still a novice to the genre, but I really identified a Black Rebel Motorcycle Club vibe from the vocals.
“Liquid Sky” has one of my favourite riffs, potentially of any doom / stoner band that I’ve listened to in amongst it’s 45 minutes. Bordering on indie, these twangy jams feel right at home as an interlude to the clouds off fuzz that “Liquid Sky” has you nestling in. The song slows down and speeds up on a whim, and the really psychedelic parts later in the song bear testament to the bands ability to create free flowing content. Something I’m excited to delve into is Weedpecker‘s influences, and to dive headfirst into more of the same soothingly trippy sounds they use. A bug bear of this song was the outro though. It suddenly cuts short, instead of warbling out further into silence, but maybe I listen to too many bands who use that opportunity to mix into the next song…
Clocking in at nearly half an hour for the first 3 songs, you get the impression that the band love writing long songs to fully encapsulate the mind and drop you in a neighbouring solar system. The next song, aptly named “Mars to Mercury” is a trippy song which like some of the others gains pace to deliver a punchy section, before dipping back you back into the soundscapes which make this album so wonderful. The final track (notwithstanding the bonus track at the end), “Lazy Boy and the Temple of Wonders”, is another great song too, although I feel like the sample used at the beginning of the track is unfortunately overused in modern metal – I must’ve heard it or a similar samples used well over double digits in the past year alone. The final track is a heavier, frenetic track than the others, with the band harking back to their previous work more and it ties off the album at a perfect length.
I can’t really say much else aside from go and listen to this album; sit yourself down in the warm with a brew or whatever else tickles your fancy and zone out to the delightful tunes of Weedpecker. Fans of Mastodon‘s Crack The Skye will love the blues influences, as will fans of Weedpecker‘s label colleagues King Buffalo. I also picked up a lot of Jimi Hendrix vibes throughout the album, especially in the psych sections. III is certainly going to be a soundtrack to 2018 for me, and I’ll be ploughing through their back catalogue in more depth too as the year progresses. Long live stoner psych bands like Weedpecker.
Notable Tracks: “Liquid Sky”; “Molecule”; “Embrace”.
FFO: Elder, King Buffalo, Mastodon