The Weight Are Men

This record hits you like a ton of bricks, yet the therapeutic pleasure of repeated listening vastly outweighs the pain of sudden impact. A sturdy five-piece comprised of "nobody special,” they arrive at your door and march through your home in muddy boots, brimming with all the bravado and machismo of early Stones crossed with the irreverence of early Replacements. An obvious reference would be Exile on Main Street, given the countrified guitars, loose harmonies and deft use of pedal steel, yet such comparisons under-serve. Each of the ten songs are secret weapons; they’re well crafted, held together by the slightly sloppy/always perfect vocal attack of Joseph Plunket and a sophisticated palette of compositional colour. Fletcher Johnson’s guitar lines are integral to each track, while Plunket’s sandpaper-edged roughness lends passion and toughness. The harmonies lift each song into a fresh territory — something you’ve never quite heard before but always wanted to. While their second release marks an evolution from more alt-country leanings, Are Men is one fine release boasting multiple gems. From the genius of "Hillbilly Highway” to the power of "Johnny’s Song,” the Weight may yet prove to be more than mere men. They’re clearly forces of nature in search of the wider audience this release so justly deserves. (Colonel)