WEAK13 is a band which demands attention; through their in your face DIY attitude and a creative attack driving a sound, which in the shape of their first album, is most likely to have you rocking like a dog before a bitch in heat. Three years in the making, They Live is a prime slab of the British band’s raw and rousing rock ‘n’ roll, a lyrical and physical confrontation which takes no prisoners while confirming the Kidderminster trio as one of the most striking and creatively honest outfits within the UK underground scene.
Founded in 1999 by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Nick J. Townsend, WEAK13 has been a constant nagging of the establishment, world and musical, backed by a multi-flavoured brew of sound as aggressively punk as it is dirtily grungy and uncompromisingly rock ‘n’ roll. With the current line-up of bassist Wesley Smith, drummer Neel Parmar, and Townsend together from 2010, WEAK13 has constantly stirred things up and continue to with a first album which infests body and spirit.
Produced by John Stewart (Eight Great Fears) and mastered by Henry Smithson (Foo Fighters, 2 Unlimited, Stereophonics), They Live opens up with the irritable My Last Summer With You, a track which seems to have a distinct crabbiness running through its creative veins. As riffs and rhythms assault and pound as Townsend plaintively roars, the song makes for a potent and steady start to the album. Things swiftly kick up a gear though as Down On Me quickly begins the trend of inescapable hooks and anthemic rhythms which continue to blossom across the album. In no time Parmar’s beats and Smith’s cantankerous basslines grip ears and appetite, being more than matched by the rebellious air of riffs and Townsend’s magnetic vocal presence; a combination creating a gripping slice of punk ‘n’ roll.
Its success is more than matched by that of Joke, the song sharing its own web of imaginative wiry hooks and grouchy riffs aligned to another great crotchety rhythmic incitement. Breeding further inventive enterprise and rousing twists, the track is pure addictive manna for a rock ‘n’ roll heart which like its predecessor lingers and returns in thought whenever it wishes.
The equally outstanding Sex Pest is more of the same temptation, casting its own individual creative baiting of ears and attention with a prowling stance and a character carrying a touch of Amen to itself. The predacious air of the song in word and music is as infectious as the instinctive twists and turns spun by Townsend’s songwriting and the threesome’s prowess at wringing every last tempting ill-tempered note and slap from their creative weapons. Closing with Nirvana-esque calm before a final rousing roar, the track makes way for the melodically spun Ashes In Autumn, a track just as much of a raw snarl as anything before it but showing the warmer if still invasive musical hues the band also has in its arsenal.
By now it is fair to say that band and album are in full compelling flow, the ‘poppier’ exploits of Closure coming next with its grunge spiced infectiousness to again engage and inflame an already eager appetite for the release while its successor Cameras Are Everywhere soon surrounds and trespasses the listener with its cyber toned touches and predatory manner within a more restrained stroll. Both tracks reveal more of the great variety shaping the album and the WEAK13 sound with the rhythmic imagination and virulence of Smith and Parmar as addictively riveting as the invention escaping Townsend’s throat and sonic endeavour.
The song is yet another highlight of They Live swiftly backed by the infectious quarrel of Here Come The Drones but subsequently eclipsed by the mighty persuasion of The Happiest Undertaker. The first of the pair swings and growls from the start, only increasing in potency with every passing magnetic minute while the second, strolls along with a knowing swagger which alone ensures increasingly eager ears. Fuller participation is drawn by another chorus which just lures vocal chords as rhythms take care of boisterous hips and neck muscles. Another track which seems to just become creatively broader, physically heavier, and more predatory through its bold body, it just whips up thicker pleasure in the album.
It is a pleasure which is only ignited again by the melodically bewitching, infection carrying Loyal Coward. With acoustic guitar and great harmonies arm in arm with tenacious rhythms and a bass tone bordering on bestial against the funk enterprise of the guitars, the track is sheer magnetism.
They Live closes with the fractious might and invention of Obey The Slave, the song as much of a brawl as a calling for ears and emotion, and a great end to one stirring and increasingly impressing encounter. The album shows that WEAK13 have no qualm about going for the jugular in attitude and sound yet breed something which is as catchy and galvanic as you could wish for; a release very easy to recommend.
They Live is out now and available only through http://weak13official.com/
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