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Calling Up My Bad Side
Cake Records

This one came with a promising press release - apparently the band scrapped 40 songs they had written for their debut album after their guitarist and bassist quit midway through the recordings, and they heard The Cure for the first time. Great, I thought, I'm just in the mood for some mopey songs about betrayal, with maybe a few super-poppy moments thrown in a la Robert Smith and co's first records. Add this to another phrase from the press release describing Weather's music as "Post-Radiohead rock" and I was all settled down, blanket wrapped around me and hot cocoa in hand (which was perchance not the best idea during a California summer ...)

Imagine my surprise when Calling Up My Bad Side recalled absolutely nothing of the aforementioned bands (or Travis or Sunny Day Real Estate for that matter - sorry, Cake Records blurb writers). Instead, most of the songs are what I'd categorize as modern adult alterna-rock - histrionic vocals over relatively mellow two guitars / bass / drums, with some languid piano thrown in for those who like to be in bed by ten. There are some rawk-out numbers like "The Bitter End" and "Lie To Me" that make a lot of noise, but are still a little too sedate to be really abandoned... while piano-led songs such as "I-80" or "Falling Down" give singer / pianist Sean Campbell a chance to show his sensitive side.

All in all, an underwhelming record - the band has the sound of a tightly-knit unit, though, and can certainly play well. Even if this record is the aural equivalent of a muggy, grey day, Weather could still have it in them to produce a cloudburst.

-Gareth Bowles

Track listing:
1. All This Time
2. Calling Up My Bad Side
3. Torn Man Down
4. In My Blood
5. Falling Down
6. Lie to Me
7. The Bitter End
8. Over You
9. Short & Sweet
10. Texas
11. I-80

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