Weatherbox‘s Brian Warren seems to have finally struck the balance between American Art and The Cosmic Drama that he, and the fans, craved for so long. Flies In All Directions has an exploratory figure to it but still, the band’s sound isn’t as overshadowed by the new indie-rock direction they undertook as many would be assuming. There are still more than enough daggers of pop-punk to keep old fans satisfied and happy that Weatherbox hasn’t lost its essence.
This is a noticeably different record than the band’s past material as they add more electro-pop beats, synth tones and acoustic layers to the array of knotty, stop-start guitar riffs. The disjointed, jaunted feel of their past failures is lost as Warren leads the way with more relaxed, smooth, lighthearted vocals as seen on the familiar “Pagan Baby” sound – which is a stark reminder how underrated a pop-punk band they are. But then curveballs like the synth-fueled “Bathin’ in the Fuss” show how bold the band wants to take things. It’s a record that’s unafraid to musically meander and it’s also, their most experimental ensemble to date. Religious themes and some high-concepts rear their heads in Warren’s lyrics too to further stamp how much they want to shake things up.
To summarize where they’re heading, well in a nutshell, this album sounds like Brand New got back together and dropped a record that doesn’t give a fuck. Some won’t accept that statement but look at the plateaus musically on offer here. The swells, the rises and drops of the musical signature and the diversity of the album all show it. “The Devil and Whom” features Andy Hull also, and best represents my Brand New comparison – haunting, some acoustic folly and then a big rock crescendo. Weatherbox isn’t scared of taking a chance and this record shows it. Good move because it’s their most accessible to date.
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