[sic] Magazine

Weekend – Jinx

I like Weekend . Such was the strength of their Red EP I had to keep reminding myself that Jinx is only their second, not third, album. As San Franciscans who relocated to New York (I might have done the opposite personally) it is easy to see the appeal of the Big Apple to these dream-gazers. The vast, ridiculous scale of the place, the rich musical heritage and the alienation. Shaun Durkan speaks of the importance of lacking a comfort zone as though New York keeps his writing edgy. “Feeling at home is evidence of stagnation” said Durkan before the release of Jinx . Hell, if they keep going as they are I’m all for it.

On Jinx , Weekend build on the echoing, fuzzed-out sound of their past releases. It’s as though they’ve recognised what worked best on Sports and built upon that for the Red EP. In turn, Jinx continues onwards from Red ‘s strengths. ‘End Times’ gave way to ‘Sweet Sixteen’ and in turn songs like ‘July’, ‘Oubliette’ and ‘It’s Alright’ from this latest collection – modern brilliance against which only the likes of The Horrors and A Place To Bury Strangers stand comparison. The stunning, bass-heavy ‘Rosaries’ even brings to mind psyche rockers Implodes .

Yet it is toward the past that we are most inclined to look when referencing Weekend. They aren’t shoegazers in the strictest sense, but they share many of the dynamics of the great bands which preceded shoegaze. The oceanic swell of A.R. Kane , the effect laden ‘wall of sound’ of early Kitchens Of Distinction and of course the reverb-drenched Jesus and Mary Chain .

“Noise rock” doesn’t do Weekend justice. Terrific melodies are there to be found, often buried behind swathes of effects, but there nevertheless. Listening is like falling into an avalanche or torrent and being swept along. It is elemental. Despite the ‘noise’ there’s also a discernible sense of space, which is where the Joy Division comparisons come in. In truth, it is more a Martin Hannett reference – that feeling of component instruments existing separately in a mix and not quite fitting together.

Structurally Jinx is an improvement upon Sports , but Weekend still haven’t figured out how to end their records on a high. ‘Just Drive’ isn’t a highlight for me being neither epic nor climactic rather an overlong plodder that might have sounded interesting as a b-side. It doesn’t matter all that much. Jinx isn’t perfect. Neither was Isn’t Anything or Daydream Nation , but it probably is one of 2013’s ‘must have’s’.