Weaves @ Studio 2, Liverpool 20.07.16

Toronto avant-pop group on spellbinding form in Liverpool

Jul 21st, 2016 at Studio 2, Liverpool / By Richard Lewis
Weaves @ Studio 2, Liverpool 20.07.16 With a near non-stop blur of dates played since their last visit to Liverpool only last month (interview), Toronto alt. pop quartet Weaves must be on the verge of becoming fully-fledged authorities on motorway service stations in these isles.

At the halfway point between glorious pop songs and skronking avant garde, the needle pitches further to one extreme or the other depending on the track. Birds and Bees opens the set somewhere in between Pavement at their most melodic and German industrialists Einstürzende Neubauten. With guitarist Morgan Waters’ skewed guitar figures suppling the off-beam song structures, the likes of Candy and Shithole swerve towards alt. rock while the rhythmic pulse of Coo Coo swings towards pop, anchored by sticksman Spencer Cole seemingly utilising every piece of his modest drumkit at the same time. Lead singer Jasmyn Burke provides calm presence at the core of proceedings throughout, her voice guiding the songs with laser focus no matter how off-kilter the music zig-zagging around her gets.

Sounding like The Stones at half speed overlaid with an old gospel number, Hula-Hoop provides an excellent showcase for Burke’s stunning vocals, the stop-start, in time/off beat, melodic/atonal devices the band are repeatedly able to pull off displayed to full effect. In complete contrast the band’s best known track to date One More is a heads-down race for the finish line that hurtles past with light-speed efficiency and the feeling that Weaves possess the punching speed to possibly outdo most punk bands.

Arguably the finest moment in their catalogue to date, the earworm chorus of Tick ‘Sweetie/I just want your/Biological clock/Tick Tock’ is brilliantly concise pop prior to early gem Motorcycle, the sound of Husker Du covering The Specials providing the finale. Busting the low E on his guitar immediately before the song, problematic given that much of it centres around a low-slung riff, Waters seamlessly works his way around it, bassist Zach Bines’s motoric thrum making the song sound less like the titular two wheeled vehicle and more akin to the enormo-rig Charlize Theron drives across the desert in Mad Max. Running to twice its original three-minute length the cut speeds towards a dazzling coda, held together with bass work that sounds like two four stringers playing simultaneously and drumming Gene Krupa would have been impressed with.

After an exhilarating forty-minute proceedings draw to a close and the very pleasant realisation that come Autumn all this will be on display again as the band return to Blighty for more dates. Go see.