Like one of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns, Weird. produce music that clearly acknowledges their influences but has a distinct inflection of its own. A trio of Roman shoegazers, Weird. is comprised of guitarist Marco Barzetti, drummer Massimiliano Pecci, and bassist Giovanni Romano. Given my previously documented interest in international shoegaze, I was eager to sample their newest release. Their sophomore LP, a long period of blindness, is a tranquil afternoon cocktail with just enough gin in the Campari to keep up the bite.
These guys like their shoegaze with a side of psychedelia, and opening track “The Circle Is Closed Except Where It Bleeds” took me by surprise. It sounded like a sludgy update to some Roky Erikson vision of Texas twilight. I couldn’t quite find the fuzzy drone I was looking for, but the dreaminess was definitely present, as were the amorphous vowel-heavy vocals. The effort does get loud, but there’s a prepossessed level of restraint here, like the band is too weary to achieve full cathartic release. Still, the overall effect exerts a slow magnetic pull. Don’t expect any toe-tapping hooks here, just a drift on some hazy, narcotic oneiric ocean.
The album moves away from the bleak sagebrush introductory track and on to more of the prescribed shoegaze territories. Every track is unhurried, lending dry humor to songs with titles like “Crescendo,” which never quite climax in the fashion one might hope. Still, it’s pretty, and there are plenty of moments that capture one’s attention. The closing track, “Swans,” is a seven minute slow burn that is best served as soundtrack to a solitary evening. There are subtle callbacks to the original cowboy clangor present earlier in the album
While it seems that Weird. still need to discover precisely where they’re developing artistically, I have confidence that they’re moving in the right direction, and look forward to hearing more from them in the future. Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all.
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