Weed – Running Back – Josh Reedy Album Reviews

Written by on January 13, 2024

Weed – Running Back – Josh Reedy Album Reviews – by Joshua Reedy.

Weed – Running Back


My copy: 2015 press by Lefse Records.

Will Anderson spent two years building off of his debut release as Weed, garnering a small following of dedicated shoegaze/power-pop fans who viewed Anderson’s work as a hidden gem. After evolving into a three-piece, Anderson released Running Back: his sophomore full-length that borrows heavily from many classic alternative bands.

The hazy, wobbling intro to “Muscles” is immediately straightened out into crunchy shoegaze jamming with a healthy dose of dissonance, sounding like a more energized version of fellow genre revivalists Nothing. Unfortunately, what little compositional creativity was displayed in the first song is immediately traded away, as the next batch of songs sticks firmly to simple rock formulas. Running Back sort of tours the styling of several more interesting bands, from DIIV in the airy vocal melodies of “Stay In The Summer” to Whirr in the faster paced “Meet Me With Ease.” Their approach to this kind of rock is not done with inelegance, however, as they do well to maintain a layer of lo-fi density – reinforcing a certain skater-punk attitude across their gaggle of snappy rhythms.

There is very little actual melody to be found in the guitar, however, with the first real hint coming in the form of brief arpeggios in the Weezer-gone-rogue frolic of “Depending On.” “Puncture” is all Dinosaur Jr. from the lighthearted vocals (that are too washed out to really feel engaging) to the dynamic chugging and bending guitar notes. There are a couple of atmospheric moments on the record that help it to feel like a more ambitious effort – one of which features a soundscape of old lo-fi keyboard melodies, serving as a delightful break from their relatively one-note song structures.

“Hiding Spot” uses a ¾ time to inject some interesting and dark syncopated jabs, while “Never Leave” apes Interpol. The playful introductory rhythm of “Yr Songs” is far more interesting than the Swervedriver worship the song morphs into, but this is still a slightly more interesting melodic effort. The final song is mostly the same type of mid-tempo dream-anthem before slowing down to actually highlight the bass for a change. The band uses feedback to inject a touch of venom through the album, but their fangs were never very sharp to begin with.

Running Back is a solid effort that feels too comfortable in simplicity. It is obvious from listening to this record that the band is a three-piece, and while their live set is probably entertaining, it feels as though the freedom provided by a studio went underutilized almost completely on this project. For what it is, (a standard set of 2010s shoegaze revival tracks) it nails its goal; the problem is that there are handfuls of similar bands releasing far more creative takes on the very same thing.



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