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Weirds – Swarmculture (Album Review)

Leeds four piece, Weirds release their debut album Swarmculture under the pressure of and hype they’ve created through the reputation of their live performances. It’s easy to get lost in the hyperbole that media create around band’s early on in their careers, so the biggest mistake that an act can make is to rush out an album that isn’t worthy of their reputation. Do Weirds fall into this trap? The short answer is no.

Swarmculture is a rousing album that flourishes with its myriad of influences. It’s like a balls to the wall, off their faces on drugs and pissed off Foals, but with the swagger of some early nineties British indie and psychedelia mixed in for good measure. Weirds have created something that feels like a beautiful secret but still screams for mainstream potential. Songs like ‘Valley of Vision’, ‘Old World Blues’ and ‘Past Life’ feel almost doomy and apocalyptic with vocalist Aidan Razzall’s sometimes angsty, sometimes apathetic but most often political lyrics perfectly describing the current climate of this country. While musically the band slightly fib on their band name, playing with the anything but a very non-weird quiet verse/loud chorus dynamic, they do it to great effect with monstrous and bluesy riffs that Royal Blood only wish they could create.

When the band stray from the darker segments of their sound like on tracks ‘Black Desert’, ‘Crows’ and ‘Salamander’s Sister’, the tonal nature of the guitar lines recall Total Life Forever era Foals which is no means an insult. It’s through these tracks, dripping with delay, that the band will probably find that they are able to tap into the mainstream. And, unlike Foals who often seem unable to move out of first gear, there is a feeling with Weirds that songs could potentially go anywhere – which more often than not, they do.

For a debut album Swarmculture is impressive. While intrinsically political, it’s intelligent enough to not take itself too seriously, meaning that listeners can take or leave that element of the album if they wish to (although why they would want to is beyond me).

2017 has seen Alcopop! Records sign a multitude of bands on the cusp of great things, none more so than Weirds. Long may this trend continue as UK bands continue to show everyone else how it’s done.

Swarmculture is out on May 26th via Alcopop! Records.

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