Fairweather - Lusitania (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Lusitania (2003)

Equal Vision


Despite the overlying tribulation that Fairweather is not the first band to release a compilation of their transcendence beyond the clichéd borders of their previous inhabitance (see: Brand New) this year, the group has still managed to distort the boundaries of its genre into something that music critics and fans alike can agree contains originality you can only buy in wholesale.

Note that this inventive collaboration of influences is still the careful extract of sounds that helps create the hour-long trip through Fairweather's creativity. Whether it be the classic emotional fluidity of the Get Up Kids (normally a band that is a necessity to mention, in this case a bonafide requirement), the emblematic energy of Sunny Day Real Estate, the hushed vocals that still manage to gear itself in kinetic motions of No Motiv, or the unique pop tendencies of Northstar, Fairweather is a late 90s hybrid of indie/emo/pop/punk that deserves some due credit.

However, as is with all downtempo emo releases, we have our boring moments. Nonetheless, it always helps itself out. The twangs of "I Dread the Time Your Mouth Calls Me Hunter" fulfills self-help notions with emotional escalation by its blatant dark overtones, and its solemn drum roll behind the carefully-plucked strings closing it out.

The bridge of "Slow to Standing" (2:04 in) uses staccato chords and vocals alike that bring to memory Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall." Listen for yourself, influences from different genres are abound. Another tune such as this is one that roars to the advantage of its drums and its cymbals alike, crashing proportionately to finish off the song.

It may just be Equal Vision's budget, but the production level is perfect. Putting a necessary choking stranglehold on each song, the mixing of the rarely distorted vocals over the working-class guitars places what I feel is a claustrophobic emotion into the sound, utterly precise for the moods consistently conveyed.

The potentially frenetic chaos that introduces us to "Silent Jury" is narrowly restrained until we're informed "I'm waking up because of smelling salts that I've been given/Well that formula for caving in has now seceded from a courthouse filled with empty judges." It's eminent to make a mention of the poetic lyrics that emblazon the music such as the aforementioned, and one-two punches of lines like "You break down systematically when everything is black and white and red/Is making up for giving in enough to sleep at night?" adorning the liner notes are only monuments that ironically build the bridges across the notes that continue a pace hardly ever stricken by completely dull frames of time, but rather severely implausible treatments of string arrangements, vocals, and percussions.

The forecast is partly cloudly with rays of hope, purely dignified by its own remission in the winding downfalls of the skies. It could break open any second to the hemisphere ready to be inhabited by an evolution needed in a time of apocalypse.

Stream Equal Vision's best release of 2003 here.