New Music: Friday Roll Out! Weeping Icon

This week has been hellish, but we’ve all gotten through it. Now let’s move on to a new adventure and keep pushing forward.

I’ve been wrapping my head around this thing we call music and I know I’m not the only one that’s observed the lack of spontaneity or the willingness for many to take chances, perform and record music simply “off the cuff.” If we’ve learned anything, Rock ‘n Roll was meant to be dangerous, obliterating our grandparents’ misconceptions of what music is supposed to be or sound like. A number of artists have bucked the system with music and I think here with Weeping Icon, we have another group willing to challenge in its nonconformity.

The combined talents of native New Yorkers, drummer Lani Combier-Kapel and guitarist Sara Fantry, along with bassist Sarah Reinold and Sarah Lutkenhaus, have created something that’s distinctive to Weeping Icon’s locale. The band has its musical footing planted well within the punk styles of those that may have come before them but there’s an infinite amount of controlled dissonance to pique anyone’s interest on its self-titled (Fire Talk/Kanine Records) debut. The band includes movements of said dissonance in between actual songs, and they’re laden with feedback which could have been turned into dramatized songs themselves (“(in the news)”) or just lead the way as introductions for other songs (“(you should listen to me)”). Whatever the case may be here, it doesn’t matter because while tracks may be drenched in distortion, they’re highly infectious. One must consider its opener (“Ankles”) which begins in one direction and then turns into an all-out frontal assault. There’s no fucking around, no pretense, just the bombastic fury of instruments colliding against one another. Weeping Icon is far from being a one-trick pony, suckling on a rhythm for all its worth (“Be Anti”), all the while keeping listeners hypnotized. But it’s the dissonance that remains a friend to all as the band can play with it for over 30 seconds before coalescing (“Natural Selection”), weeding out everything that’s unnecessary but holding onto everything.

Weeping Icon is repetitive but that’s fine because the band isn’t repetitious and finds strength within that repetition (“Power Trip”). The bottom end is always on the edge of toppling over but doesn’t as some background noise/experimentalism is thrown in for good measure. Repetition is par for the course with the group (“Like Envy”) and yet, I keep coming back for more of it because it’s just that good! The rhythm is accentuated by guitar nuances and spoken/sung vocals and it becomes grandiose in scale, slowly building until it’s eventual end.

I stand behind my words and saying that the sludge, distortion, melody, and dissonance of Weeping Icon is what dreams should be made of, I’m not lying. They’re exploring a musical landscape that’s been ignored for far too long and stamping it with their own identity. It’s not an easy task but it comes way too naturally for the band. That’s talent.

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