Album review: "Sports"
"Coma Summer," the first track on "Sports," the debut album by San Francisco trio Weekend, is a mission statement song.
Over the course of 61
2 wondrous minutes, the group empties its bag of tricks. It starts with sinister rhythmic pounding, adds chugging guitars and blasts into overdrive when a layer of soaking distortion hits. As the song ramps up to warp speed, disembodied vocals are dropped in as if sent through a vortex from another dimension, drenched in echo. It zooms along without losing momentum, like a new mutation of Sonic Youth's "Daydream Nation" or My Bloody Valentine's "Only Shallow."
Of course it's the highlight of the album, but Weekend impresses because it manages to hold your attention for nine more songs after that opening salvo. "Sports" is a mostly murky affair, where loud sounds burst out of dark corners, keeping listeners on edge throughout. There's an ideal balance of build-up and payoff. Such songs as "Monday Morning" and "Landscape" ride a wave of fuzz and reverb that never crests, while "Mononagh, WV" is in full gallop from the start.
"End Times" splits the difference, offering some of the album's few discernible vocals and sunniest melodies before a sheet of noise crashes down. Weekend prefers to stay in the dark but sounds just as good when it steps into the light.
--David Malitz, Sept. 2, 2011