Weatherstate – ‘Dumbstruck’

By Ben Tipple

“It’s not the first time, won’t be the last time, I feel uncomfortable and barely alive.” So say Bristol’s Weatherstate on ‘Grinding My Teeth’, the closing song on their five-track EP, ‘Dumbstruck’. It summarises the record’s tale, one of uncertainty and confusion. Attempting to soundtrack the lost years felt by many growing up, it does so by channelling leading voices of teenage angst from years gone by. Not least Green Day and grunge superstars Nirvana.

‘Dumbstruck’ never reaches the stature of Weatherstate’s influences, but then it never appears to be trying to. Expressing teenage apathy, the sound is as downtrodden and lethargic as the issue in question. It is effortlessly mundane, but through this relatable. Grunge exemplified indifference, a formula adopted and delivered upon by Weatherstate.

There’s a lot of influence from the DIY UK scene filtering in, yet it’s the stateside influences which take centre stage. The unsubtly titled ‘Stuck In A Hole’ in particular takes vocal lessons from key figures on the 90s, yet pulls it up to date with guitar build-ups and unmistakable pop-punk sounds. It, alongside scattered other moments, make occasional nods to stadium rock titans Foo Fighters, although never enough to move away from its morose sentiment.

Originality isn’t the name of the game on ‘Dumbstruck’. Instead, the four-piece add a new voice of discontent. Filled with a muted anger, the EP benefits from never becoming overbearingly ferocious. It’s an accepted frustration that has spawned a sound that goes a long way to sum up a socially led disinterest.

BEN TIPPLE

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