Posted by: will | July 25, 2007


Weatherbox “American Art” (Doghouse)


I reviewed Weatherbox’s debut EP, The Clearing, last year and was thoroughly impressed with the band’s modern take on a very familiar post hardcore sound. The band touches on the early sounds of bands like The White Octave, Cursive, Quicksand and Seaweed. Much like Saddle Creek band, Criteria, Weatherbox are able to recreate a sound that I grew up on and still have a certain affinity for. So, just for that fact alone, Weatherbox get a thumbs up. American Art is the band’s debut full-length and it delivers with a full set of solid material.

“Atoms Smash”, “The Clearing” and “Snakes, Our Ground” appeared originally on The Clearing EP and they show up again on American Art. It makes sense as all three songs are obvious stand outs. Out of the new material the band is at their best when they stay with what works best for them…loud, melodic rock songs. Tracks like “Armed To The Teeth” and “Trippin’ The Life Fantastic” continue the band’s winning ways. The band tries their hand at writing a few instrumentally bare songs. They go down with mixed results. The fifth track, “Untitled”, sounds like a bad Bright Eyes B-side. However, later in the album the band delivers “The Drugs” which works rather well. It showcases Brian Warren’s strong vocals as they stand tall above the rootsy musical backdrop. At 13 songs and 50 minutes in running time, American Art wears a little thin at times…especially when the last four songs occupy 20 minutes. The band could have easily cut two or three tracks for streamlining purposes and the band’s songs work best when they clock in closer to that 3-minute length. Other than that, American Art still plays out remarkably well despite its long running time.

American Art is certainly a noble first effort for Weatherbox. Fans of any of the bands mentioned here should take a chance on this band. Weatherbox does a fine job of updating the post-hardcore sound. The band simply has a remarkable ability of writing memorable melodic rock songs that truly grab you. That is not the most easy task and I have a feeling that it will get Weatherbox very far.

RIYL: Criteria, Rival Schools, Cursive


Weatherbox – Snakes, Our Ground (mp3)

Weatherbox – Trippin’ The Life Fantastic (mp3)


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