English alternative rock band Weak13 have released their long awaited debut album They Live.
By Jane Howkins.
For a first album, They Live is a fantastic release from grunge rockers Weak13, presenting an old style with a new industrial spin added into the mix.
It’s been a long time coming as well, considering that Weak13 first began life in 1999 – just five years after Kurt Cobain’s death and a lot closer to what is now known as the grunge period. The reason for the delay was a lack of a permanent line-up, but that was completed some years ago and after three years of writing and recording the band have finally managed to release their début album They Live.
It’s important to note that the music that Weak13 produce is a lot closer to that created in the early 1990s than the post-grunge stylings that have been presented over the last fifteen years or so, which is a welcome relief. They’ve managed to capture that typical (almost indefinable) early grunge sound, with distorted riffs, spat vocals and passionate lyrics fitting right in, as well as still managing to be unique – which is very much to the band’s credit. Second track Down On Me has a very catchy rhythm to it (although the subject matter comes across as a little cheesy and crass at times), whilst Cameras Are Everywhere steps things up a mark, being heavier in both message and sound. There’s one tiny annoying thing about the song and that’s the robotic effects used on the vocals, but it’s a minor problem and adds to the concept of the song somewhat. It’s interesting to hear a grunge band combine industrial and electronic effects into their music as well, which is something we haven’t heard much before.
The production is rather impressive too. It’s sharp and well textured, whilst also managing to capture the raw sound of the early 1990s, with buzzsaw guitars and some great drumming adding to the overall picture. Weak13 certainly seem to have done their homework, and having been around for such a long time it seems clear that they’ve had a lot of time to practice and hone their sound. They Live is an example that rock ‘n’ roll is very much still alive, so here’s hoping we don’t have to wait another seventeen years for their next album!