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Album Review: Swarmculture by Weirds

Leeds pysch grunge four piece Weirds released their debut album, Swarmculture, on 26th May via Alcopop! Records. Recorded with Matt Peel (Pulled Apart By Horses, Eagulls) at The Nave, an atmospheric Leeds studio built into a converted church, Weirds set out to create a dark, heavy, psychedelic record which still had the pop structure and hooks to make people dance.

“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. With the fact that Western culture is swarming towards a populist right, with people blaming others for parts of their lives that they’re not happy with, calling for change before they even begin to think about whether the change will be good or not, we felt ‘Swarmculture’ reflected the world we live in. Everything swarms, whether it be a colony of ants or the corporate conglomerates. We definitely, and will continue to, try to keep music and politics separate but as any type of artist, you are definitely inspired and influenced by what is going on around you” – Aidan Razzall, Vocals

Sound a little pretentious? Although it echoes the truth, the grandeur and affectation sums up Weirds perfectly. Their pysch grunge somehow manages to blend tones of 90s grunge with swathes of indie swagger and ambition. While there may be some good tracks on Swarmculture it disappears up its own arse, frequently going a step to far. Think of the criticism the Second Coming by The Stone Roses receives for treading into a John Squire vanity project – Swarmculture has the same feel without being half as good.

‘Valley of Vision’ is an absolute belter and ‘Salamander’s Sister’ has the big stadium swagger that hint the there’s genuine quality within Weirds, it’s just a shame that the rest of the album doesn’t follow suit. ‘Weird Sun’ and ‘Old World Blues’ act as major black spots whilst the rest of the album fails to capture the attention.

That’s not to say it’s a terrible album, it’s perfectly pleasant if you want something on in the background that isn’t going to distract from something else. There are moments that threaten to hook you in until the sound veers off into boring guitar solos that go nowhere. ‘Crows’ is a fine example of a track that has loads of potential, a nice hook teamed with an instantaneous riff, but it just goes on for too long and down too many blind alleys. Shave a minimum of 1 and a half minutes of each track and you’d have a far better album.

AD Rating 5.5/10

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