Deserters – Weird Weather

written by: April 30, 2012
cover Release Date: January 1st, 2012

★★★½☆

Whoever decided to combine indie and pop was a dirty genius. It always charms with great things. Chicago-based Deserters are a prime example of this, and new Weird Weather is their evidence.

Something about the way electronic beats over piano backdrops mesh together creates an uplifting sense of comfort in the eardrums. Deserters are peppy but not over-the-top, in an overwhelming sense. The likeability factor is simply there and calmly forceful. Soon, people will be wanting more than a half-dozen tunes from the band, and they’d better be ready to meet the demands of their new fans.

“Landslide” is possibly the pinnacle of Weird Weather. The band can expect to play this song the most of all their hits, because a lot of promotion comes with a new record. This song is good and catchy, and people will want to hear it. It’s got a familiar sound to it, with a charging beat and a welcoming harmony over every lyric. It brings some wonderful “I do, I do, I do, I feel like a heavy rain/I do, I do, I do, I feel like a hurricane/ that pours harder when you’re around/that roars louder when you’re around,” entertaining a simile for the story he’s telling and becoming reminiscent to vintage songs that playfully used euphemisms so creatively.

Leader song “Lydia” is a letter written to a woman about being torn between living with this woman and moving elsewhere, caught in a spell of indecisiveness.  In an almost ironic move, the band accompanies this soliloquy with a violin and acoustic guitar combination, romanticizing a relatively petty thought process.

From there, electric guitars break onto the tracks for “Cigarette Smoke” before “My Old Ways” reminds us what Grey’s Anatomy soundtracks sounded like, combining an unknown indie flavor with a narrative about the past or speaking of an ambiguous relationship for the listener to fill in the blanks themselves.

“Bells” works boldly with electronic mixes, incorporating beeps and buzzes between verses. It’s unexpected and innovative, complementing their tasteful craft with a spin of creative energy splashed into the mix. “Evil Art” closes coolly and calmly with ease. Imagine the band wearing sunglasses indoors as they perform this song.

One thing is for sure: no song gets lost when you put out a six-song release. Every song is heard and noticed and nothing is neglected. Their efforts are fully recognized yet their work is concise. It’s a win-win, unless it’s simply not enough. But in any case, that’s a good problem to have.

What isn’t a good problem is the tendency of mediating in an energy that’s not fully cheerful but not melancholy, either. The band stays in a mellow place . It’s almost as if they’re bored in front of the microphone or behind the guitar or keyboard. It’s a shame, because if there’s something worth writing and producing material about, it should be something to be excited about. Telling your story is a gift and the audience isn’t treated like a gracious crowd but more like an accessory (a disposable one, at that). Let’s hope that when they reach audiences in person, they’re a little more animated. Your music, however good, can’t always stand for itself!

Download the EP

Deserters – Weird Weather tracklist:

  1. “Evil Art”
  2. “Bells”
  3. “Landslide”
  4. “My Old Ways”
  5. “Cigarette Smoke”
  6. “Lydia”