“Noise-wave is the new indie landfill,” or so says… me. Cast your mind back to the new rock music scene circa 2007 and the sheer smorgasbord of weak shite seems to genuinely warrant the need of a landfill. But with the likes of The Twang, The Enemy and Mumm-Ra kindly disposed of, there’s a new breed of plentiful guitar-bass-and-drums racket taking their place. It’s noisy but composed, retrospective, but ultimately fresh, and the press is awash with it as if it were some sort of ubiquitous wave…
In this new wave, it’s generally accepted that if you have your amps on so loud the PA sounds like it’s literally going to fall apart, whilst hurling your bass against a wall to achieve just one little extra drop of clamour, you must be doing something right. Such a universal standard was set last night by San Franciscan shoegazers Weekend, at Soho’s White Heat club.
Amongst the noise-wave protagonists, something I wouldn’t particularly want to catch on is making every one of your songs so deafeningly overdriven and loud that it’s hard to pick out any particular highlights. The only song of the evening I could actually name as I heard it being played was the closer, ‘Coma Summer’, with ‘Youth Haunts’ possibly in there somewhere. From a reviewer’s point of view, it's just a load of noise. Enjoyable noise, artistic noise even, but nonetheless difficult to pick apart for reviewing purposes noise.
By no means, of course, is this a bad thing in itself. As I write this, about twelve hours post leaving the burlesque-bunker of Madame Jojo’s, the clattering distortion of Weekend’s own brand of post-punk-‘n’-krautrock still rings joyously in the ears. Such a side effect alone deserves the band full marks for effort; I mean, there’s only three of the buggers. I saw Kings of Leon in Hyde Park the other week (so that’s an extra band member and a PA the size of Glastonbury) and could still hear a fellow punter’s explanation of why Snow Patrol are better than Radiohead several metres away.
Listening to Weekend, either live or on record, it’s a task to hear your own thoughts. I did manage in-between songs, however; the resounding message being that “the landfill is no place for this”. Weekend deserve as many ears as they can shatter.