REVIEW: WRITE THIS DOWN – LOST WEEKEND (2012)
Lost Weekend kicks off with a bang, sounding the refrain of “We’ve come to shake things up, we’re here make things interesting!” In a way this is the slogan of the hard rock collective from Minnesota that is Write This Down. The band is veterans to the underground rock scene, but it is only recently that they have begun to get some traction on a larger scale. After many months of rumors, it was confirmed that they signed to Seattle’s Tooth and Nail Records. Soon after, they released their self-titled record which garnered mostly solid reviews, but often was criticized for not having a solid identity. As one friend of mine put it, the band couldn’t “decide whether they were Relient K or a hardcore band.” Luckily, with the release of Lost Weekend, the band comes into their own identity, albeit one that’s been re-hashed by several other groups in the industry.
So what is the sound of Lost Weekend? Mostly hardcore influenced melodic rock. The vocals stand out from the typical ones you hear from radio hard-rock bands though. The rough vocals are somewhere between a growl and a scream. Everything about the vocals is unique. The music itself isn’t awesome but it creates a solid package and it is quite fun to listen to. “Red 7” and “I’ll Make You Famous” are early favorites for blasting in the car and “Crash and Burn” has had success as both a radio single and a music video.
The lyrics are quite honest and not the stereotypical hard rock lyrics. The aforementioned slogan-like lyrics in the album opener “The Older I Get, the Better I Was” hardly have a gritty ring to them but they set the tone for the album well. “Red 7” is about as brutally honest as any song on the record, with the lyricist lamenting on the risks of casual hook-ups, “playing God in a parking lot” as they put it.
The majority of the songs on the record are fun, with a couple easter eggs thrown in for the purpose of shaking things up. “Cheap Affairs” and “Song and Dance” are the obligatory slower songs which are catchy but ultimately forgettable in an over saturated rock market. “Don’t Speak” is exactly what you suspected it is, a cover of the No Doubt song. They succeed in putting their own spin on the sound and oddly the song’s melody fits the vocal style of the band well. “Lost Weekend” is another highlight with its punk-like melody. Despite the title track’s hard rock shell, I found myself thinking the melody would be well suited to a Relient K or MxPx song as well. In summary, I suppose I would dub Lost Weekend a more interesting than average hard rock album that accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do.