I’ve often felt that garage rock is basically a by-word for rock and roll with more personality, experimentation and exploration; a sort of vivid melting pot of upstarts and groups rapidly climbing a musical ladder to success based almost entirely on their songwriting, reflecting on their own life experiences and blowing them up a bit into anarchic, sometimes archaic little songs that can speak to people.
It’s that grass-roots mentality that I think makes so many of these bands – and we can all name a few off by heart, I think – so easy to relate to and enjoy. It gives the music a little bit more of an ace up its sleeve, and if it works? It really works. That emotional connection to the listener, that personality that a charismatic band brings isn’t only great on a personal level – it’s also a great way to keep a band’s audience going to gigs and keeping the band with a roof over their heads!
Weekend Recovery are a group that prove this flawlessly; they don’t only work – they really work. Their latest album, Get What You Came For, is an intoxicating barrage of riffs, growls and a vocalist who feels like a bit of a boot up the arse for the old boys of rock and roll, strutting and swaggering with the best of them and very much carrying her thoughts on her sleeve.
Beyond having a great look about it (that cover got a good chuckle out of me at 5AM this morning, not an easy task!) This eclectic little record has got a good set of teeth and has a wild, colourful and seriously addictive little flavour that provides a good, strong shot in the arm for anybody seeking something new – without carrying any pretension.
It’s a thoroughly polished – but completely down to earth – affair: it hasn’t got any enormous motive or mission, and it doesn’t particularly carry a message – instead, it tells a series of personal little tales and kicks you in the teeth if you’re not paying attention.
It feels a bit like a leather collar around the neck; Lori, Owen, Josh and Marcus rule the roost with an iron fist, and through an immense charisma – that comes through so well on mp3 that I can’t imagine the effects of a gig – and some seriously catchy chorus, they make sure it’ll lock you into a vice grip and not let go until it’s all over. (And that replay button will seem hugely enticing, too.)
The first highlight to my ears is Oh Jenny – a swaggering, thrusty little number that’s born for chanting, and seems dead set to make you attempt to sing a chorus in any environment. Including on your morning commute. This track, despite only being the second number in, seems to be the impetus for the rest of the record and really gets things moving, at a breakneck pace.
Anyway is another. I’ve always maintained that every rock and roll album needs a slightly less spiky number or I’m not buying it. This beautiful track will raise the eyebrows – and perk the ears – of even the most jaded listener. It’s the album’s ballad, a radio-friendly number – but it’s authentic, and it’s an organic, steadily transition that feels a little bit like a breather before things rile up again.
There isn’t a single dip to the album’s progress. The eponymous Get What You Came For is easily my favourite, which veers precariously into horror rock territory with its spooky, alluring vocal and a deep, chugging, echoing riff, throwing in an extra stir of variety – something the album definitely isn’t missing – into the mix and an extra dose of black, inky darkness into the record’s explosion of colour and sound.
The aptly titled I Wanna Get Off closes the rollercoaster with serious style, and again – doesn’t that replay button seem tempting?
We managed to sit down with the band to find out what makes them, and this wicked little album, tick. Let’s take a look under the hood…
Cat on the Wall: Hello there – welcome to Cat on the Wall! How are you today?
Lori: Hey! Great! Relieved actually after a long period of being under wraps recording and bringing this album to life – the end is i sight! We’re ready to hit the road and show people what we’ve been working on!
COTW: Please, tell us a little bit about yourself and Weekend Recovery. How would you describe your music to the uninitiated?
Lori: A bit about me? Hmm, I love pugs and the undefeated champion of Cards Against Humanity…that’s the most important and only things you need to know (ha!) Weekend Recovery is a garage punk band, and we live tup North in lovely Leeds! We’ve only been around 2ish years, and with this line up about 4ish months! We’re full of energy, balls to the wall and LOVE a good laugh!
COTW: What are Weekend Recovery’s origins? Take us back to the beginning…
Lori: Well, it started off as a solo project I put together, we used to go out just under my name, but I very quickly felt there wasn’t enough credit being shared to my band, who had just as much input as I did! So, we decided to go out under a band name (I wanted NINJA PANDAS but the guys didn’t think that would be taken seriously…) we went out for the first year as a pop/punk Paramore-esque band. I was then introduced to bands like The Kills, The Dead Weather, Sonic Youth and The Hives, and fell in love with the fuzzy noise sound they all pride themselves in. So ‘Get What You Came For’ I feel has a more mature, passionate vibe than our previous sound.
COTW: There’s a lot of emotion under Get What You Came For, isn’t there? I feel a lot of anger, urgency, and maybe a tiny bit of a grudge here and there – which tracks have a particular resonance for you?
Owen: I always had a a bit of a soft spot for I Wanna Get Off. It’s got lots of energy and it’s easily one of the most aggressive songs on the record but it’s always one of my favourites to play! Turn It Up is another big one for me. It was the first song we all wrote together and I think shows off our individual styles as musicians really well.
Marcus: My favourite is All My Own – it really shows a variety of emotion, from the soft opening – to when the heavier section starts, it really gives me the time the shine, and hit the shit out of the drums!
COTW: How was your experience recording the album? How does a Weekend Recovery album’s process begin?
Owen: Fantastic in some areas, painful in others haha! The process of writing would involve us meeting up with different ideas to share, like a guitar riff, a lyric or a drum groove. Could be anything at all. We jam on those, try and play them in a few different ways and eventually we have sounds that we like. We record a demo for Lori to take away and write some lyrics for, and eventually we have a finished song! I record my guitars with some rough drum ideas, Josh and Lori add bass and vocals, and then it’s time to record drums. Fun fact: Marcus smashed out his drum takes in one recording session, because he’s insane and awesome at what he does!
Writing original music is always a lot of fun, but I always find the process of recording quite stressful. Having said that, the hard work definitely payed off in the end. I’m really proud of this record, and I hope the fans like it as much as we do.
COTW: You’ve also got… ahem, quite a few (!) tour dates coming up, including your album release in February. It’s no secret that touring in the UK can be a bit of a wild ride. In your opinion, what facilities does a good venue absolutely need for an artist?
Josh (Man of Few Words): The bar.
All: *rolls eyes*
COTW: You’ve also toured with a lot of big garage rock groups across the country; but we think you can tell more about somebody’s tastes from their music library – what are the top three most played tracks in your music player of choice?!
‘Solar’ by Northlane
‘Still Feel Like Your Man’ by John Mayer
‘Here We Go’ by Lower Than Atlantis
That’s what my Spotify told me anyway. I listen to a lot of different stuff, and these tunes are great examples of that. Anything from progressive-metal through to ambient pop stuff, I’m all ears for good tunes.
‘Blue Orchid’ by White Stripes
‘Treat Me Like Your Mother’ by The Dead Weather
‘Reptiles’ by Sons
‘High Voltage’ by Electric Six
‘Rock Your Body’ by Justin Timberlake
‘Backstreets Back’ by Backstreet Boys
COTW: Do you have any particularly unusual influences that may surprise listeners?
Josh: Your mother’s postman.
Own: I’m big into heavier bands like Northlane, Periphery and TesseracT. Plini, David Maxim Micic and Zoology are big favourites of mine at the moment. Oh, and John Mayer. John Mayer is a legend!
COTW: You’ve had quite a busy 2017 – and great success considering you’re still a relatively new group. What are your aspirations for the new year?
Marcus: I guess just to finally get back on the road and play some shows! Meet all the awesome friends and fans that Lori has told us so much about! And get to see some more of the country…also a spread in Kerrang wouldn’t go a miss.
COTW: Finally, do you have any final words to fans, friends, family… even ourselves?!
Lori: The song is called Blue Orchid NOT White Orchard (I always get it wrong ha!)
Owen: We want to take on the world and we need your help to do it! And thank you to the fans for all their constant support. We’ll see you on the road!
Marcus: Don’t eat yellow snow!
Josh: Don’t kick an armadillo……. they don’t like that.
Get What You Came For isn’t going to change the world of music forever, but it is going to spice up your playlist. It’s chock full of personality, it lives and breathes its own and it has no interest in imitating anybody. This punchy, neat album starts perfectly and wraps itself into a genuinely addictive little package that you’ll not want to stay away from. Eclectic, exciting and incredibly fun to listen to, Weekend Recovery are a band that doesn’t hold any secrets, and are all the better for it.
No holds barred – this emotional, colourful and non-stop journey is a bit like a fairground of emotions and experiences. It’s not subtle, it’s not pretentious and it’s not willing to pretend it’s anything but a damned fun little trip through the minds of some talented musicians.
Get What You Came For releases on February the 17th – and we reckon it’s one to look out for. We’ve heard a lot of infectious music in our time, and Lori and her cronies are the perfect early catch for 2018.