Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Album Review: "Follow The Rattle of The Afghan Guitar" by Weatherbox

Follow The Rattle of the Afghan Guitar is released
on Youth Conspiracy Records on October 4, 2011
Weatherbox are an ever-evolving band that continue to find their sound with each subsequent.  A band that continually explores the true pallet of their sounds, Weatherbox have toured with bands like Manchester Orchestra, Say Anything, All Get Out, and many other incredible rising acts that explore similar themes and styles.  Weatherbox tends to delve a bit deeper than most though and with much less filtration, Brian Warren shouts out his disbelief in god and the holy books while tripped out and speaking to the devil on "Tripping The Life Fantastic" from the band's first full length, American Art.  Religion, life, death, drugs, they all pop up rather frequently in Weatherbox songs and it's what makes the band so accessible and relatable, but what keeps the fans coming back are their unique song structures.  Songs can go from fuzzed out distortion with frenetic vocal melodies to hushed tones and falsetto refrains at the drop of a dime.

Follow The Rattle of the Afghan Guitar follows much of this same formula while still keeping up with the band's mantra of an everchanging sound.  This 6 song EP features two tracks from their previous Christpuncher EP, "Broken Glowsticks" and "The Bullets", both of which fit like a glove on this batch of a songs.  Weatherbox molds these songs into masterpieces, giving each track their own fair share of jaunting rhythmic changes and melodic chants that you may often find lingering in your head for days.  The music is filled with mesmerizing guitar riffs that oftentimes can take the backseat to Warren's stunning lyricism.  Warren refrains from candy coating things and approaches topics with a raw grit and honesty that is hard to find in many contemporary song writers.  "My Head" kicks off with a perplexing guitar riff and Warren spitting out, "My friends have guns now and fake cocaine smiles/They're getting strange, fat, and happy in the dirt pile." Warren's writing is filled with brilliant imagery and an unadulterated knack for striking a chord with the listener.  However, the switch-up occurs in the chorus with a picturesque but devastating image of "My head has a hole, you made it/My heart has a head too, it's thinking of you".

Half of the joy of Weatherbox lies in the unknown, such as where they'll take their sound and which influences will begin to shine through as time goes by and which influences will take a back seat.  However, first and foremost is the sheer talent of the band that they just exude in volumes.  With each release the band becomes more focused, more diligent, and more unique.  Tracks like "Heavy Map" start out as a slow brooder, chugging along until its apex of gang vocals, and complimentary guitar lines and vocal melodies.

"Brian Wins Again" with Follow The Rattle of the Afghan Guitar, it's a comprehensive snapshot of the band's sound that appropriately captures many of the bands shining elements.  It's littered with introspective lyricism, infectious melodies, and powerful instrumentation.  Follow The Rattle... is available for digital download on the band's Bandcamp, but is also available on 12" vinyl in multiple different colors.  The band is getting ready to embark on a nationwide tour as well, the dates for which are available on their Bandcamp.

Rating: 8.9/10

Standout Tracks: "My Head", "Broken Glowsticks", "The Bullets"

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