Waking Up On Monday
The band called Weekend comes to your speakers from New York, after uprooting and transplanting themselves from San Francisco. Since releasing their first widely appreciated full-length album of noisy shoegaze rock in 2010, Weekend has gone through a bit of a transformation before arriving at Jinx, though maybe not the transition you’d expect.
Picturesque San Francisco gave birth to a band that would grind through lengthy low-fi tracks filled with blaring guitars and muffled vocals. Now, in the midst of the grit and rust of Brooklyn, Weekend has evolved into a more refined and poppy sound. Jinx is more polished and more plastic than its predecessor. While the overall style remains largely the same, it’s been trimmed and groomed a bit. It’s cleaner, which could be a turn-on or a turn-off depending on one’s point of view.
Sports, the album that preceded Jinx, gave off a smell that was often somewhere between Health and My Bloody Valentine. On the latest release, Weekend goes into a more distinct new wave direction. They’ve cut back on the blaring noise to let more catchy guitar and bass hooks shine through, accentuating vocals that have been sung directly into a microphone, rather than wailed from across the room.
It’s a sound immediately reminiscent of Joy Division that doesn’t go quite far enough in the pop direction to be another New Order. The sound of The Cure is here too, though thankfully only in controlled doses. Jinx is a solid album of dark new wave pop that is often charming in its emotional openness and simplicity. Weekend has combed its hair a bit since its last foray into the studio, but it hasn’t lost its edge. The opening track, “Mirror,” drives hard, and the rest of the album continues in the same direction.
It’s easy to feel like a band has lost something when it cleans up its style, but Weekend might have gained as much as it has lost. Jinx isn’t as raw as it could have been, but it still has its teeth. When you give an up-and-coming band the ball, they either run with it or drop it. At the very least, Weekend has held onto the ball and released another fine record.