If you had cast ears over the two singles from UK outfit WEIMAR so far this year, one the lead track for their debut album, you could not escape their open individuality to each other and pretty much anything around at the moment. For us one was a swift persuasion and the other a longer to tempt proposal but eventfully laying a just as firm a grip on the imagination so fair to say that intrigue and a sense of query as to our reception joined us in our travels through Dancing On A Volcano.
Manchester hailing, WEIMAR is an art-rock quartet consisting of vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Aidan Cross (The Bacillus, Black Light Mutants), bassist John Armstrong (The Speed Of Sound), drummer Anthony ‘Eddy’ Edwards (The Deceased) and guitarist Stephen Sarsen (Frank Is Dead, Playground). Forming the band in 2016, the foursome cast a sound as varied and unpredictable as the songs themselves now leaping through ears and into the imagination within Dancing On A Volcano. Across its body, the release sees the band merge post punk, psych rock, gothic rock, alternative folk and a certain theatre of invention with plenty more involved to keep expectations guessing.
Produced, mixed and mastered by Adam Crossley and Chris Guest, Dancing On A Volcano swiftly set that rich sense of the individual and the curious with Soho Rain and also of the inherent temptation and infectiousness in WEIMAR’S invention. The song emerges through a downpour, strolling through sodden streets dedicated to London’s old seedy Soho district. It is a calm amble taking in eventful sights in its melodic jangle and rhythmic saunter, the tones of Cross dourly tempting as the sax flames of guesting Leeds artist Finola lights up the compelling landscape. The track also features original lead guitarist Johann Kloos who plays on numerous tracks across the release.
The Sociopath follows, its Flamenco flaps swaying as Cross shares his declarations with the trumpet and flugelhorn of Bob Dinn adding greater colour to the breath and character of the rhythmically manipulative track. In no time it was under the skin being swiftly joined by the band’s new single, I Smashed The Looking Glass. The track is superb, suspense soaking its beginnings before the song kicks into its infectious stroll shaped by crisps beats, seductive basslines and sonic enterprise. There is a great Howard Devoto meets Mark E. Smith hue to Cross’ vocals and storytelling, indeed the song itself bears an addictive essence of The Fall meets Threatmantics meets Wall of Voodoo to it; a description you could sort of apply to the album as a whole if brave enough to try and precisely tag the band’s sound.
Folk inclinations surface within The Hangers-On next, the song another shuffle of rhythmic and melodic enterprise around animated lyrical incitement; its own creative and musical individuality bearing a slight hue of The Monochrome Set to it while Arandora Star weaves psychedelic wires into post punk shadows around dramatic rumination. Both tracks joined the claim on favourite song moment being quickly joined by rock ‘n’ roller Polished Decay, the song with its manipulative saunter and devious creative cunning taking the honours; its Marc Riley & The Creepers-esque lures irresistible.
Dark espionage and noir lit intrigue accompanies the equally outstanding Hunter’s Moon as it slowly unwinds its lures and drama, gothic light highlighting its dramas with Finola bringing further shadows and fascination to the Bauhaus scented track while Faded Queen Of The Night leaps through ears with melodic frills and rhythmic thrills in an ebullient dance. Again the quartet provides the sound, imagination and uniqueness for one’s own conjuring of movement and thought, the track a seductive serenade and galvanic incitement in one.
Nights In Spanish Harlem canters through ears with funk rock energy and tempting, its movement a buoyant excuse to participate and its infectious invention a spark for just as lively imagination with its evocative prowess matched by the following ballad, Heaven On High Street East and it’s socially observing contemplation.
Closing up the album The Tatterdemalions provided one final exploration of dark shadows, fertile imagination and rich engagement, the song a spirited ride through a psych and ambient spun, folk rock crafted and rhythmically shamanic landscape with matching lyrical and melodic captivation.
So that is Dancing On A Volcano, a release we went into maybe slightly unsure of our reactions and came out greedy for its compelling and addictively enjoyable exploits.
Dancing On A Volcano is out now via GERMAN SHEPHERD RECORDS; available digitally @ https://weimarband.bandcamp.com/album/dancing-on-a-volcano and on CD @ https://weimarbanduk.com/product/dancing-on-a-volcano/
Pete RingMaster 01/09/2022
Copyright RingMaster Review