It’s been quite a year, Weaves. Hasn’t it? The comeback for the most acclaimed Canadian indie act of 2016 happens 12 months after the release of their blasting debut album. ‘Wide Open’ is the four-piece’s newborn, a record that unfolds through 11 tracks and 41 minutes in between the acid/psychedelic atmosphere of its older brother and a more relaxed – call it poppy, if you like – approach. I’ll be honest: the first single taken from the LP, ‘#53’, have misled me, and might have done the same to many of the listeners who were craving a new album from Jasmyn Burke & co. It sounded simple, perhaps elementary; something that just survived a full year spent by the band touring and gaining a much-deserved praise following their brilliant debut. It seemed – to me, at least – a mere exercise of style, and that was concerning, for I had fallen in love with Weaves’ energy, unpredictability and eclecticism. I am not sure I would have digested that easily a change of heart and direction towards an easier-to-listen dimension, if you know what I mean.
Fear not, guys. Weaves are back with an album that matches their past glory, and the climax is served almost immediately. ‘Slicked’ showcases the band in all its splendour: jazzy changes of key, distorted explosions and Jasmyn’s pristine voice will make you jump. ‘Law and Panda’ follows shortly after, and it’s that rock ‘n roll moment, just under three minutes, that makes you think that, yeah, these guys are what we expected them to be once back.
‘Walkaway’ is enjoyable; ‘La La’ displays the quarte’s skills in crafting infectious choruses, corroborated by incisive bass lines and guitar riffs, whilst the title-track ‘Wide Open’ is probably the first episode – out of two records – that slows down the pace and let Weaves fully open up. It’s just a break, because the interlude ‘Motherfucker’, is rapidly followed by ‘Scream’, another single we had previously talked about on these screens, realised in featuring with Tanya Tagaq. And here they are, Weaves, their psychedelic guitars riffs in the spotlight, blended with those seemingly uncoordinated drum patterns. Here they are, as we love them to be.
Hints of post-punk (‘Gasoline’) and lo-fi (‘Puddle’) add to the album in its final rush. It happens again, as it did about a year ago: I feel the need to go back to side one and start it all over, again. Let Weaves get through your veins. ‘Wide Open’ will make you want to dance.
Memphis Industries/Buzz Records/Kanine | 2017
Tracklist & Stream