With a genre like grunge it’s incredibly refreshing to see bands pushing limits and breaking away from the traditional formula. With their debut album, SWARMCULTURE, Leeds natives WEIRDS have done exactly that. Spanning ten encapsulating tracks WEIRDS have delivered a sonic offering of grit and darkness that is almost impossible to refuse.
As album opener ‘Things You Create’ kicks in it’s clear that the band have delved into a sound that is hard-hitting and psychedelic while still managing to maintain a pop-sensibility. The verses are driven along by an infectious bassline and intricate guitar melodies while the fuzz and distortion are cranked up to the max for an anthemic chorus as frontman Aiden Razzell cries out against a city that’s crumbling. Continuing the pace set by ‘Things You Create’ the album’s lead single ‘Valley of Vision’ comes in strong with a relentless guitar riff, this is WEIRDS demonstrating their ability to create an atmospheric song that’s full of fury.
Another standout track is ‘Weird Sun’, the only song that’s been taken from the bands back-catalogue and reworked for their debut album. Originally featured as the title track of last year’s debut EP, WEIRD SUN, the song is the longest on the record clocking in at just over six minutes. With the verses having an electro-pop quality to them and the choruses being pulled along by a chaotic hook. ‘Weird Sun’ also makes for one of the most experimental tracks on the album as, after the second chorus it delves into an eclectic instrumental interlude that slowly spirals into a cathartic madness. The amount of times you’ll want to dance while listening to this record is astonishing considering the gritty instrumentation and the dark undertone of the lyrics and is only further testament to how WEIRDS perfectly apply pop structure to their song-writing and manage to weave it in effortlessly with their sound.
Penultimate track ‘Tunnelling’ is a welcome ambient addition to the album, acting almost as a breather between the ferocity of the previous eight songs and the album closer ‘Past Life’. ‘Tunnelling’ is filled with shimmering guitar lines and a composed vocal that’s compliments the music seamlessly.
When previously asked about the meaning behind the album name Razzell has stated that ‘It was a very conscious decision to combine the two words to create ‘Swarmculture’. It just seemed to encapsulate the world we wanted to create with this record’ and WEIRDS have truly created a unique sonic world that will hook you in, keep you enticed and leave you wanting to return time again and again.
Review by Phoebe Constable