WEIRD FEELINGS – Unmake Yourself ­(Little Plastic Tapes 2020)

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Fodder from Weird Feelings has been a long time coming. These recordings were released just after Xmas 2020 but date back to 2019 and a rehearsal space that is likely four or five shoebox apartments by now. It’s interesting to see a band use genre tags that have felt slightly poisonous for so long – alternative, grunge (and the hideous grrrl) – but I guess a band has to categorise itself somehow for the sake of filling in Bandcamp tag boxes… Weird Feelings just seems like it’s going somewhere else with the music. The sound of this Dublin 4-piece is tuneful, bedraggled bedroom-pop with visceral fragments of psychedelia, shoegaze and proto-punk, and UNMAKE YOURSELF is a very natural DIY presentation of these components trashed out…

The Truth opens proceedings with breezy confidence… I generally try to skirt around direct comparisons and talk about the music on hand, but in every positive way, this reminds me of the thin aesthetic line between über-saccharine and slightly-off as practiced by the wonderful Throw That Beat In The Garbagecan! – Knowingly naïve on the surface, but tellingly capable when the mix requires more dirt.

…And the dirt is demonstrated by a stylistic shunt into the trudge of My Dad’s A Fucking Alcoholic by early 80’s Colorado punks, the Frantix. In an effort to fabricate a style-guide of legends and anecdotes from the onset, the band claims that the vocals for this were recorded “into a portable recorder driving at 100 km/hr on the M50 in Dublin (coz there was nowhere else to do it!)”… I don’t need any truth-of-the-matter to go with this, but I would also have preferred the band to show the world what they’ve got creatively, rather than what they borrowed and jammed for fun in a rehearsal space. How difficult can it be to write a similar but superior song?

Masses returns to the mode of the opening track – slightly ramshackle guitar-pop like an insistently DIY shelf ­– it’s got all the necessary nails and screws rammed in to stop it from falling off the wall but the glorious and vaguely bockety quality remains. This track has a lot of interesting structural twists and bodes well for potential psychedelic pop adventures beyond convention.

Finally, Shadow alternates minimal mode and loud trashy choruses, gradually revving up and stomping through its 5:06 minute duration in what seems like half that time… it’s effortlessly the most developed and capable piece of music here.

Weird Feelings has everything in place for interesting adventures in music to come – except maybe a world of gigs, rehearsals, recording, being in the same room as each other… minor details like that. Back in the days when the Rodney On the ROQ compilations had one side of underground punk and a flipside of under-produced poppy whatnots from The Bangs (later the Bangles) or The Signals, Weird Feelings would have found a very comfortable home. Importantly, a guitar-noise pop band that functions like a punk band is infinitely more interesting than one that chases the attention of Nialler 9 or “prestige” support slots for a begrudging €50 fee, as if it’s the only possible path.

I can’t imagine these songs would have the same charm if they were sterilised and laboured over in a studio environment, but more of this would be a very welcome thing providing it has a really shitty recording budget!

Get it here…

 

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