Weatherstate ‘Dumbstruck’ – EP REVIEW

This Weatherstate article was written by Simon Carline, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Michael Liggins.

At the risk of alienating a few people right off the bat, the first thought that comes to mind when pressing play on ‘Dumbstruck’ is that Weatherstate would be right at home on one of those Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video games. The EP’s opening burst ‘Stutter’ does anything but that. It harks back to the kind of grunge pop-punk that would perfectly soundtrack an interactive skateboarder that miraculously avoids paralysing himself on a minute to minute basis.

In case it wasn’t clear from that opening gambit, the analogy pays Weatherstate a sizeable compliment. ‘Dumbstruck’ manages to sound huge without losing its raw edge. It has a classic, nostalgic quality but the sound feels fresh, as they blend the catchy element of pop-punk with the noise and aggression of its grunge counterpart.

The willingness to pull from a wider range of influences is what sets Weatherstate aside from the average bands that get lumped with the pop-punk label that they’re often tagged with. It only takes a couple of listens to hear hints of pre ‘Nimrod’ Green Day and traces of early Weezer’s pop sensibilities. When this is put in a mixing pot, with a dash of Nirvana and the gruff grit of The Menzingers, it makes for a hugely satisfying feast of shout-alongs.

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Like many a fine punk record, ‘Dumbstruck’ never lets up. From the blazing trail of ‘Stutter’ enters the bouncy lead single ‘ILL’ as the Bristolian four-piece race from one anthem of discontent to another. ‘Piss It All Away’ provides one of the real highlights as it switches from a stabby, Weezer-esque intro into an explosive monster of a track that wouldn’t sound out of place on an I Am The Avalanche album.

We may only be in the first month of the year but there is every chance that ‘Dumbstruck’ will be regarded as one of the finer EPs of its kind come the end of 2016. If it’s not, we will have enjoyed a remarkable year in world of punk rock.

‘Dumbstruck’ is out now via Failure by Design Records.