“Up To Speed / Your Life”
February 26, 2013 - Catskull
Often bands are described as being “infectious,” but it’s hard to know what that actually means. Like, is that just a fancy way of saying they are catchy, or does it signify some sort of super-flu-style disease that will have you uncontrollably humming the band’s songs into a state of catatonia? In the case of Boston melodic rock band the Weeds (featuring former Transit guitarist Joe Lacy), their level of “infectiousness,” if you will, is somewhere nestled in the middle of those two assumptions. Yes, the six songs on Roots/Routes are undeniably catchy, but they aren’t so annoyingly by-the-numbers that they’d having anyone smacking themselves in the head and telling a certain refrain or chorus to “go away! Get out of my head!” (Like, say, Tegan and Sara’s “Closer”—which rules, so no complaints there.)
Combining the boy/girl interplay of indie-emo bands like Tigers Jaw and Slingshot Dakota with what rocking pop-punkers like the Get Up Kids and Saves The Day were doing in the late ’90s, the Weeds certainly aren’t creating anything original on their debut EP, but they are onto a sound that, when done well, still stands up today. “Up To Speed / Your Life” wouldn’t sound out of place on one of those old late-’90s Deep Elm or Crank! Records compilations, while the band could slide right in beside the current batch of pop-punk revivalists with a track like “Sunset Eyes (Beautiful Life).” With a little more inventiveness and some much-needed swagger, the Weeds might be one of those bands that actually allow us to utter the word “emo” out in pubic again without a cringe and shudder.