Weekend: Sports

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Weekend

Album: Sports
Label: Slumberland

The shoegaze renaissance of the past few years has produced a lot of bands that copy the genre’s swirling, atmospheric sound, but few that tap into its underlying romanticism or gravity. It doesn’t feel like Weekend is trying to make such a statement with Sports, but the band somehow manages to anyway. The debut full-length by the San Francisco trio isn’t assertive; it’s vulnerable and insular, a trembling handful of songs offered up as apologies, memoirs, and musings on death. “Coma Summer” opens the disc with frantic drones, a beehive melody, and peripheral images of “my August haze” and “a union entombed,” all of which surface and sink like layers of malfunctioning memory. Other tracks, like the stark, hammering “Age Class,” take on an almost industrial heaviness. Weekend’s most obvious touchstone, though, is early Jesus And Mary Chain, only Sports is Psychocandy minus the candy. Instead of sugary hooks, there are cavernous wails; instead of guitars plugged into pedals, there are ghosts plugged into tornadoes. The result should be unbearably bleak and self-absorbed, but Sports catches Weekend gazing not at its shoes, but into its soul.

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