Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Monday, 28 October 2013 08:00

Album review: Weekend illuminates the shadows of new wave on 'Jinx'

Album review: Weekend illuminates the shadows of new wave on 'Jinx'
Written by Erin Frank
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Weekend
"Jinx"
Slumberland

In Season 9 of "The Simpsons," Lisa is convinced that she possesses a gene that will render her as stupid as Homer and Bart someday, and in an effort to feed her brain with as much culture as possible before its inevitable decline, she goes to a jazz club and is dismayed when another patron compares the performance to someone "hitting a baby with a cat."

"You have to listen to the notes she's not playing," Lisa says, to which the patron sniffs in reply, "I can do that at home."

It's a well-worn joke about jazz, of course, and for anyone who probably doesn't really get jazz, it sounds like a cop-out. But it does have merit, and for some reason, I found myself thinking about this while listening to Weekend's second LP, "Jinx."

It's weird, but on "Jinx," Weekend has managed to suffuse the space between -- between lyrics, between riffs, even between song themes -- with a kind of shadowy presence that becomes almost tangible at times before slipping under and away, hard to define but really difficult to explain. Which is my job here, unfortunately (for me).

The album design -- all crocodile skull, a holy water reliquary, and unsheathed switchblade painted in inky black against a stark white background -- offers as much of a contrast to the dense atmospheric music within as the driving distortion of some tracks like "Mirror," "July" and "Scream Queen" sits opposed to the grace of titles like "Adelaide," "Rosaries" and "Oubliette."

Weekend formed in 2009 and relocated to Brooklyn to record "Jinx," and as a result, shed a good measure of the restrained fuzz on 2011's "Red" and all of the blustery yowl on 2010's "Sports." In exchange, Weekend have picked up a more urbane quality. It's a standard West Coast-for-East Coast trade, and while "Jinx" is not as unabashed as Weekend's previous albums, it does not entirely suffer for its adaptation.

It's interesting, actually and "Jinx" is a better album than I originally gave it credit to be. "Mirror" builds like an ambient chillwave track but transforms into something resembling an industrial cover of a Duran Duran demo. "Rosaries" is at once tranquil and chaotic, harsh with snare and reverb but tranquil in its underlying thrum.

"Jinx" is never aggressive and it does not plunge headlong into apathy, but it does contain the kind of updated new-wave melodies and clerestory echoes to make it into sort of a Brooklyn grimoire, an album for anyone who held onto their Tears For Fears and Depeche Mode posters but who probably went through at least a little bit of a Goth phase, too.

Upcoming Concerts

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr
KDHX Blog

Local Artist Spotlight

88.1 KDHX Shows

m-grill.jpg

KDHX Recommends

April
Friday
25

KDHX Presents Shakespeare Festival St. Louis' Metro Youth Program

KDHX presents Shakespeare Festival St. Louis' Metro Youth Program April 25 and 26 at The Stage at KDHX. Information and reservations available at Shakespeare Festival St. Louis online.   Modeled after a similar...


April
Friday
25

Trampled Under Foot

For tickets and info, Old Rock House online.


April
Friday
25

John McEuen and John Carter Cash and Family

KDHX welcomes John McEuen and John Carter Cash to The Sheldon, April 15th. For tickets and information, sheldonconcerthall.org.


Online Users

5 users and 8492 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook