Published Jun 15, 2016On their self-titled, debut full-length, freshly signed Buzz Records Toronto foursome Weaves' sound could be described by any number of adjectives — frenetic, melodic, heavy, worldly — but try to put them in a box and you'll be at a loss.
At their core, Weaves are a pop outfit, but they indulge in thrashing punk moments, relentless rock'n'roll and math rock, making for an all-encompassing, smorgasbord style that will appeal to many different ears. It's a little funky, a little freaky and a whole lot of fun. The topsy-turvy style and myriad styles might not seem to match at first, but somehow the clash of curious choices works incredibly well. From the beginning buzz of guitar on opener "Tick" — which has a kazoo-like quality courtesy of fuzz pedal and other effects — to the giddy, dizzying stomp of "Birds & Bees" (the call and response of Morgan Waters' guitar and Jasmyn Burke's vocals is neat and endearing) to the endless energy of "One More," Weaves will keep you guessing while drawing you in.
Burke's dynamic vocals are forthright at some points and playful in others, as she starts some songs with "ooh oohs," "mm-mmms" or giggles, while Waters keeps his guitar squealing, screeching and scratching, wobbling and wavering on the edge of falling apart but always keeping it together. Though they take some tangents of their own, bassist Zach Bines and drummer Spencer Cole anchor the proceedings. Altogether, it's nothing short of magic.
"Candy" is as much of a treat to listen to as the title suggests, a bouncy curious tune that just explodes halfway as Burke sings "I'm just a giant, walk over you" while Waters' guitar squeals out a booming, beautiful mess of sound. The improvised lyrics of "Two Oceans," which begins with a cough and a wheeze from Burke atop the slow screech of guitar, make for a very entertaining listen: "Please tell me about yourself / You're looking sweet with your slices of pizza and your fucking… yeah, you know" sings Burke, before letting out a laugh.
The playful "Coo Coo" has one of the album's best lyrical riffs, a sneaking charmer married to some very neat drumming and delightful wordplay from Burke — "A portion of popcorn that's popping and shopping for fresh hands / Distortion is motion that's ridden, forbidden, don't you dare" — that provides one of the record's true highlights. Jittery "Human" lets Bines have a go at a nice little bass break, and the rollicking "Sentence" swells, with Burke moaning amongst the chaos, before calming back down to a very satisfying finish.
The band tone it down a tad with "Shithole," "Eagle" and "Stress," but these slower, steadier songs never border on boring or blasé; indeed, Weaves seem genuinely incapable of writing songs that suffer from any of those symptoms.
Between laughter, woozy instrumentals and joyous, stop-start rhythms, Weaves has an undeniable feeling of fun surrounding it. As a debut, it perfectly captures the band's personality and sound: captivating, incomparable and deliciously unique. (Buzz)