SINGLE REVIEW: ‘John Doe’/‘Curse The Songs’ by Weimar
Released 1st February 2019
‘Just because songs might have dark themes, doesn’t mean they have to be dull and dreary.’ In the late ‘70s the early ‘80s, this idea (amongst others) became the basis for an entire genre of music- one we now know as ‘post-punk’, and pioneers of which included Bauhaus, Joy Division and Wire. These artists and hundreds more created music that was dark and often minimalistic, yet intriguingly so, and still continue to inspire bands, artists, designers and other creatives to this day. One of these bands is Manchester-based, art-rock outfit Weimar, who also magnificently prove the truth of my opening statement through the medium of this, their debut single. A double A-side release (produced by the legendary Simon ‘Ding’ Archer), both tracks indeed cover rather dark subject matters. Though the lyrics tell one story, however, the instrumentation tells another, and yet both mould together perfectly to create a sound that is genuinely interesting to listen to, but that also retains an air of excited nostalgia. ‘John Doe’ for example, with its almost-rockabilly undertones (think early ‘60s tracks like ‘Swingin’ Low’ by The Outlaws) retains a playful edge yet still commands the listener’s ear. The little riffs inserted here and there are nice additions too, whilst the music video for the track is a shadowy caper through (what we presume to be) the outskirts of Manchester which, while not completely representative of the truth depth of the song, compliments it well all the same. However, personally I think the stronger track of the two is the second, ‘Curse The Songs’. It is catchy, unpredictable, and propelled forward by a sinister swing and Aidan Cross’s theatrical vocal style, resulting in an end product of what one might imagine Bauhaus might have sounded like had they been produced by Joe Meek (anyone who knows my opinion on the music of the latter will know that that is certainly a compliment). Despite this, one the one hand, I don’t think these records will instantly appeal to everyone, as they have a specific sound and require more than one listen to truly appreciate. On the other I do not think ‘instant appeal’ is Weimar’s intention (after all, that wouldn’t be a very ‘post-punk’ attitude would it?). If they continue to release tracks of this calibre in the musical vein they sound more than ready to carve out for themselves, however, sooner or later they can surely expect to be noticed by, at the very least, fans of those artists who have obviously inspired them.
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To mark the release of this single on 1st February this year, Weimar (plus three support acts) will be playing a special gig on this date at The Eagle Inn, Salford. Tickets are £5 each and can be purchased here: https://www.ticketweb.uk/event/weimar-debut-single-launch-the-eagle-inn-tickets/9060565 For more information on Weimar, please visit: https://m.facebook.com/WeimarTheBand/ You can also watch the official music videos for ‘John Doe’ and ‘Curse The Songs’ via the band’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRVRYJayyyN0Q46AA_74Aig