Review: The Fairweather Band- Meow! (Specialist Subject)

Posted: October 8, 2016 in Reviews

The Fairweather Band pick up where they left off from 2014’s S/T 12” with their first proper length, Meow! The Fairweather Band are ‘indie rock’ at the surface level, with clear folk influences and a punk spirit. I’m not really talking about the modern form of ‘indie’ when I use that term. I guess there is a spiritual and musical lineage from bands which could be categorized as ‘indie-punk’: Television, Fugazi, Minutemen. There is a concise nature to the songs, which is refreshing (nothing goes beyond the 2:30 mark) and clearly influenced by their DIY and punk ethics. At the same time, a honesty and realism comes through in Rory Mathew’s (formerly of Some Sort of Threat) every-day story-telling, which brings to mind Billy Bragg. The Fairweather Band are difficult to pin down and that is great, in a similar way to labelmates Great Cynics. Most of the tracks on display here are slow-burners, allowing the passionate, spirited and well-delivered lyrics to reveal themselves. Musically, it is often quite jarring and awkward in nature, steering clear of the verse-chorus-verse formula. The guitars are noodle-y at times; other times, the band can be super-melodic; both sides can be seen on my favourite from Meow!, “Disregard”. In this way, they remind me of Hot Club de Paris or the slower tracks from the much-missed Gordon Gano’s Army. The Fairweather Band operate outside of the lines of the traditional music genres and succeed while doing so; long may it continue.

Listen here: https://specialistsubject.bandcamp.com/album/meow

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