Fairweather – Lusitania

Fairweather
Lusitania

If nothing else, it’s a nice progression. What I mean is, even if you don’t like either of Fairweather’s albums, you can’t help but admit that there were some rather impressive strides taken in between them. Strides towards what exactly? Well, of that I am not exactly sure yet. But if you didn’t like them the first time around, at least now you might be required to reconsider your reasons.
You see, where Fairweather’s debut, If They Move…Kill Them, was a precisely executed and energetic blast of emo-punk, or whatever the hell you want to call it, this latest effort is a bit more tempered. There is a more mid-tempo feel to the entire album, but the aggression is still there. The band’s songwriting has greatly improved, which was hinted at with the EP Alaska, which fell in between the band’s two albums and offered a glimpse at what they were up to. Where the songs that made up Fairweather’s debut were solid but a bit predictable, these latest tunes are much more complicated and developed.
As a result, there are some truly great moments here. “Silent Jury” is an interesting and slightly spastic number that bounces from punk-rock to post-rock with a few eyebrow-raising stops in between, showing off a style you never would have guessed these guys were capable of. And the band still gives listeners plenty of reason to bang their head. Just listen to the huge riffs of songs like “Slow to Standing,” or the metal-tinged vibe of multiple other songs, and you’ll understand. But rather than just pound away like so many of the bands it is surrounded by, Fairweather takes an approach comparable to a slightly more mature version of fellow young acts like Further Seems Forever and Armor For Sleep, creating a progressive sort of poppy art-metal that is pretty easy to digest.
There are still signs serving as dead giveaways that this is a young band. For example, the instrumentals are something we could do without. After hearing the opening spacey wanderings of “Derivative Opener,” complete with cheesy “oooohs” and “aaaahs” that make you hope this is a bit of a joke, you almost want to give up on the album right then and there. Later on, the acoustic-laced instrumental “1195” doesn’t really serve much of a purpose other than maybe to give you a bit of a break from sniffling along to the bleeding-heart-on-sleeve lyrics that are scattered all over the album. And some of the regular songs still suffer from the lack of uniqueness that tainted some of Fairweather’s early work, but there is enough impressive material here for this flaw to be largely forgiven.
It’s tough to deny that this album is filled to the brim with intricate, expansive, and downright powerful sounds. Whether it be the more aggressive and driving songs that make you want to pound your fist and shout along, or the more gentle efforts that make you want to just catch a breeze and drift away, there are songs here that try again and again to be epics, and occasionally even succeed.