In the Studio New Weakerthans Album
posted by April 3 at 11:45 AMon
Everyone’s favorite post-Propaghandi indie folk punk country band, the Weakerthans, are hitting the studio to record their first record in nearly five years, due out in the fall. The band is recording the currently untitled album in the “quiet, tranquil surroundings of Winnipeg” (“One Great City”) with its “slaughterhouses, industrial sites, and sub-degree temperatures” as well in Toronto. I’m excited.
Their last record, Reconstruction Site is probably my least favorite Weakerthans record, but that’s not saying much, and it has more to do with where I was at when it came out than with the quality of the record itself. It’s a winningly ambitious album, containing a touching triptych song cycle about a dying relative, as well as a song written from the perspective of John K Samson’s cat and a last-call ode to Antarctic explorer Shackleton.
The only reason it’s not my favorite Weakerthans record is because Fallow and Left and Leaving hit me at the perfect post-collegiate, deflated anarchist moment in my life for me to get caught up in Samson’s romantic, politically-informed lyricism. I literally hung my Evergreen diploma on my first shitty Seattle apartment’s bathroom wall, as per Samson’s manifesto, “Confessions of a Futon Revolutionist”. I think I lost that diploma in some move or other, but I still have a home-taped cassette of Left and Leaving around here somewhere.
At their best, on the aforementioned tracks and ones like the elevating “Watermark”, the New Order biting “Wellington’s Wednesdays”, and ballad “My Favorite Chords”, the Weakerthans are transcendentally sappy, pairing Samson’s soft-spoken poetry with tumbling power chords or weepy steel guitar as fits the mood. Solid mixtape gold.
Reconstruction Site was little older, and perhaps a little more uneven than either of the previous Weakerthans records, but it’s still a fantastic album, and it resonates with me more as time goes by. A new record from the Weakerthans is great news.