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The Massed Albert Sounds
Mojo records 2000

Iíd heard the hypeÖ Indie kids raving about this band Weston, and how their new major label debut was so fantasticÖ blah blah blah. Well, hype is hype. This album, however, is very good. Treading waters opened wide by bands such as the Boo Radleys in the 90ís, Weston has succeeded in creating an album full of brilliant pop songs, resplendent with varied instrumentation and bright, shiny songwriting. The Pennsylvania band tackles a miasma of British sounds with gusto and attitude, proving that they can give the established big boys a run for the money.

"I Just Quit Rock and Roll" begins the album with acoustic guitars and brassy keyboards blending to create a bouncy anthem for the new millennium. Itís a fantastic little piece of work, and one that draws the listener in immediately, with itís chorus of "Na nana na na na na". "To Some Iím A Genius" kicks the album into an even higher gear, with a host of scorching guitars creating a sound that could be the next Foo Fighters track. Any similarity is quickly swept under the rug with "Kiss Like An Angel", a track rich in dynamics and beautiful hidden sounds. The feedback loops add a texture often missing in todayís high-power pop music. The chorus sings with lavish power and childish abandon. "Wonderdrug" floats along on a haze of Slowdive-ish ethereal splendor, the vocals providing more instrumentation than lyrical content. The bright marimba sounds on "Radio" set the mood, and maintain the rhythm of a wonderful, melodious song. The harmonies are tight, and the over all feel of the song is light and airy. "Summerís Over" brings back a bit more of the edgy rock, with itís intricate rhythms, tremendous guitar sounds, and excellent vocal presentation.

Side 2 of the record delivers with as much promise as side 1. Opening up with "Liz Phair", Weston once again provides a humorous and sonically efficient pop song. "My Favourite High" blasts into a drone-rich, My-Bloody-Valentine-on-slow-speed-emo cacophony. "Your kiss is heaven, youíre still on my mind; you are forever, my favourite high." The Emo-core continues with "You Haunt Me", another feedback loop laden track, more beautiful than long, richly layered with synthesized strings. "El Differente" presents the straight-ahead rock credo that proves the versatility of this band, nuzzling comfortably next to classics from the likes of the Pixies. The splendor of 4-part vocal harmonies in "Volume Hater" puts NíSync to shame. This track is complex in its unmistakable simplicity, and yearns to be heard at 130 decibels. The reprise of "I Just Quit Rock and Roll" is a last, yearning look at this fine album and the versatility of this band. It also provides the perfect opportunity for you to jump up and start the record over again.

Weston has succeeded in creating an album that brings more enjoyment with each listen. When you think youíve heard everything there is to hear, put on the headphones and listen closer. There is a lot of sonic territory on this record, and it is territory worth taking the time to explore. It looks like Iíll be on my way to the shoppe to try to find their previous 5 records.

--David DeVoe

Track Listing:

  1. I Just Quit Rock & Roll
  2. To Some Iím A Genius
  3. Kiss Like An Angel
  4. Wonderdrug
  5. Radio
  6. Summerís Over
  7. Liz Phair
  8. My Favourite High
  9. You Haunt Me
  10. El Differente
  11. Volume Hater
  12. I Just Quit Rock & Roll (reprise

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