Last night, Hereford based Weathered Hands played their last ever show. Their debut album ‘A Warm Life In The Cold’ was masterfully written, showcasing their fresh-faced talent and opening the road for a promising future. So here’s my review of their debut, which made it into my top 5 list of that year, written for Altsounds.com back in 2013. So long lads, farwell Weathered Hands.
“In an already over populated landscape, marred by pretender screamo bands who are clearly in it for the street cred, it’s hard to locate a band that are simply doing it because they want to. But when one comes across the table, with all cards bared, boy it feels mightily rewarding. So when an email popped in my inbox from In At The Deep End Records, stating that I might want to give these guys a few listens before I get what they are trying to do, my thoughts on the debut Weathered Hands album, the quest in searching the aforementioned looked bleak. Oh how I was mistaken.
A Warm Life In The Cold is exactly the kind of record that sweeps all those pretenders aside, and on the first listen, I totally get what this Hereford quintet are trying to do. And the fact is they aren’t trying to do anything, just making music because they flippin’ want to. What is missing is the usual façade of heightened instruments, electronically distorted vocals and the added whispering synth that tries to make it sound that there is something bigger going on. And that’s a good thing. What is here though, is honesty, energy, creativeness and simplicity, and its evident right from opening track Vines.
Listen // Laced
It explodes in a cacophony of noise that grips every nerve ending and shakes them loose. While normally we would expect to be gently exposed to what is coming up, Weathered Hands don’t hold back, forging ahead in a brand of hardcore that strips back musically as well as emotionally. The gritty guitar riffs, coupled with John James Davies’ purgative vocals — that don’t need to be destroyed to get his emotions across — and stomping bass lines, as heard in ‘Black Lights’ and ‘Santa Muerte’ which are like throwbacks to the mid-noughties.
It’s a tough sound to perfect, more akin to the likes of Pianos Become The Teeth and Basement, and with a collective age of 21, Weathered Hands are showcasing a trait that is hard to find in a collective so juvenile. The bands maturity is heard in ‘Between Glass And Winter’ and ‘A Thought That Provokes Even You’. Tracks that are usually used as a breather from all the whirlwind heaviness come into their own here, standing out as solid tracks that don’t interrupt the flow. Again Davies’ vocals are to get lost in, and you can feel the catharsis oozing from his vocals, but are not worn so flaccidly on his sleeve that you feel like drowning.
First single ‘Laced’ is a stomper of a track, sounding rough around the edges while ‘Monoco’ closes the album with the lyrics “I tried to spell my name/ If only I knew it…” in a way that is perfectly chant along as it explodes in thrashing cymbals and an emotionally charged melody.
A Warm Life In The Cold is an album that is not built around a certain aesthetic or style…it just is. For some it might be hard to digest, it’s not pretty and it’s not trying to tell any elaborate stories, but rather showcasing how far five friends can go as an artistic force. While Weathered Hands come with a warning label, this album doesn’t need a second thought, and I totally get it. While it is a throwback to emerging bands around the 2005 mark, it is refreshing to hear something that merges ferocity and melody without any ulterior motives.”