10 Feb 2022 - Daniel F.
Prog Rock | Release date: 11 Feb 2022
By its very definition, progressive rock should challenge, surprise and add value to the genre as a whole. Over the years we have seen many bands come and go - some leaving more of a lasting impression than others - lots of which get stuck in the rut of writing what they think prog ‘should’ sound like, rather than how they feel it ‘could’ be perceived. When the Massachusetts quintet We Broke The Weather hit my radar a few weeks ago, it didn’t take long for them to cement themselves as the latter in my mind, and since then their debut album has drilled itself deep into my consciousness by way of creative hooks and brave, diverse songwriting. In other words, it’s bloody good.
I will start by saying that I’m far from an expert when it comes to songwriting, and sometimes it’s easy to over analyse music from a position of limited experience. However, even my unworthy ears can appreciate the talent seeping from this record. Obvious influences aside (there’s clearly bucket loads of love for the likes of The Dear Hunter, The Fall Of Troy, Thank You Scientist et al. on show) the band’s eponymous debut covers ground both new and old, managing to doff it’s cap to their idols while maintaining a pertinent sense of identity and that all important progression.
It all kicks off with “Through The Wall”, where eerie synths give way to bright brass work and a carefully constructed track that grows into a frenetic amalgam of roaring guitar and chaotic noise before running into ”Rot King”, another gripping excerpt that evades definition. ”These Old Bones” introduces grating riffs which nestle alongside intricate playing and more reserved vocals. ”Fire Season” begins the second half of the album with a deft touch, slowing down proceedings with a long and potent track that oozes catharsis and potent lyricism. It’s a nice juxtaposition from some of the more frenetic tracks on offer.
We Broke The Weather spend the vast majority of the album patiently soldering nu-jazz and mathy post rock within their proggy formula with impeccable detail, utilising elements of each as individual components that clip neatly together, rather than just switching from one to the next. Jazzy drums might sit alongside a twinkling math rock riff at one moment, before brash guitars add crunch while backed by synth the next. It’s a truly polygamous album that brings together the best of everything and is exceptionally well executed; especially when you remember that this is a debut release.
We Broke The Weather are the kind of band that come along rarely. Their passion drips from every single note on display, and it’s clear that they are true admirers of the music that they have been inspired by. It’s also clear that they are gallant enough to experiment further and push the envelope well beyond what the average band might. It may not be the most radio friendly release you’ll hear this year but for fellow prog aficionados, this is one of the most adventurous and encyclopaedic albums that will grace your ears. Do yourself a favour and check it out.