Among the recent glut of post-punk and shoegaze-indebted rockers, San Francisco’s Weekend churn out their creative mix of dense indie rock without the slightest hint of artifice or imitation. Formed in 2009, the band released a couple of EP’s before their debut LP, Sports, made its way onto store shelves in 2010 via Slumberland Records. Garnering critical support and a loyal fanbase through slews of frenzied live shows, they quickly put some distance between themselves and the idea that they were simply a collection of recycled musical ideas. That’s not to say that the band doesn’t use their own personal influences to inform their music (of course they do), but it’s done in a way without resorting to simple mimicry or wholesale impersonation.
For their sophomore record, Jinx, the band brought on veteran indie producer Monte Vallier (Wax Idols, The Soft Moon) to helm the controls in the studio. Having worked with Vallier on both their previous Red EP, as well as Sports, the band quickly fell back into step with the producer, and the songs on Jinx exhibit the sort of casual, instinctual ease found between people who know exactly what each other wants. Blending viscous sheets of guitars with complex rhythms that threaten to engulf the listener, Weekend have veered slightly away from the noise-pop consumption of their previous releases and have found a home in the murkier waters of post-punk’s hazy seascape.
Effortlessly sidestepping genres, the band combines a record collection’s worth of subtle, and not so subtle, influences into something new and wholly their own, while also being redolent of each member’s individual musical preferences. Taking some time recently, the band sat down for Beats Per Minute to write a bit about some of the records which have influenced them—individually and collectively. From Fugazi’s DC hardcore underpinnings to Depeche Mode’s dark, brooding synth-pop, and on to indie rock forefathers This Heat, the band explores the influences that have crept into Weekend’s finely honed sound. Check out their full list below in the latest installment of our On Deck series.
I was a sophomore in high school when I discovered this incredibly magical record. It was one of those moments where you take a chance on a record you know nothing about and everything just clicks. All it took was the first 30 seconds of emo classic “Never Meant” (I challenge anybody to please show me a more heartbreaking song) to cement this record’s place in my top 10 of all time. One of those moments when you hear a song or see a film or read a book – and it feels like a memory. Mike Kinsella’s desperately delivered vocals coo and moan stories of regret and heartbreak over arpeggiated twinkles of guitars – his words stretched out and sung until all the force in his lungs expire. Track titles like “I”ll See You When We’re Both Not So Emotional” and “But the Regrets Are Killing Me” graced my AIM profile for years to come. Overall, there’s a sincerity and vulnerability to the vocals that really resonated with me as I felt like even I could sing them (no offense to Kinsella, the ability to emote trumps virtuosity in my book any day). For a single record, by a relatively unknown band, from a place I’d never been – I felt like it had been with me all along.
Following an emotionally devastating runaway train of thought here, I’m not sure much needs to be said about this record other than “holy shit.” Yes, I was on the Roadrunner Street team and I got a box full of the first promo tapes which included rough mixes of “Pretty Lush” and “Siberian Kiss.” Yes I put “XXX” on my speaker cabinet just like Beck did. Yes I wrote a sappy fan letter to GJ and nearly cried once while running on a treadmill in a gym while listening to “When One Eight Becomes Two Zeros.” I think if I say anymore I may weep at my laptop/throw it out the window, so I’ll leave it at that. I’ve gotta keep my PMA.
I know this might seem a bit obvious–but Fugazi was a band that truly changed me as a person and a music listener. I got this tape when I was 15 or so because I liked Minor Threat and upon first listen hated it. Something kept me listening and I eventually was pulled in to loving it. I was a bit closed minded about music at the time–only listening to punk and hardcore–so I will always shout out Fugazi for being a gateway drug for me.
This record is perfect and devastating.
What can I say about this that hasn’t been said? This was one of the first experimental records that I listened to. Odd and idiosyncratic. It really helped broaden my scope of what was possible within the “rock” idiom.
This record took what I knew about The Stooges and The MC5 and dumped toxic waste all over it.
Weekend’s latest record, Jinx, is due out July 23rd on Slumberland Records.