Weigh The Anchor – ‘Right At Home’

By Gem Rogers

Pop punk sometimes feels like a genre that hasn’t really moved much over the last twenty years – but dig a little deeper, and you realise the label is applied to a whole heap of bands who, in reality, sound wildly different. When it’s done well, you find bands who become deeply beloved with music that’s equal parts fun, meaningful, and uplifting – but there are still plenty who fall into the trap of cookie-cutter melodies, basic chords, and teenage hometown angst, which makes it all the more exciting when a new band come along with all the qualities to fit into the first category.

Step up Weigh The Anchor from Oakville, Ontario (also home to fellow pop punk standouts Seaway), whose sophomore EP ‘Right At Home’ sees the band find themselves, well, right at home (sorry) in their freshened sound. Taking a little more inspiration from the kind of easycore associated with the likes of Four Year Strong and Set Your Goals than just straight pop punk, Weigh The Anchor have used the three years since debut ‘True Colours’ to refine their direction and add some polish, and it immediately works to their benefit.

That’s not to say ‘Right At Home’ is a million miles away from the classic genre themes; there’s still hints of that angst and yearning for better days, and the lyrics aren’t necessarily groundbreaking, but it’s more a comforting familiarity than a clumsy stumble into cliché. With the briefest of intros, the trio don’t waste much time pretending they’re going after anything other than the most melodic of punches on opener ‘Medicate’; perfectly balancing the vocals with heavier riffs and allowing them to play off each other, it’s a track that’s as dynamic as it is fun, and a perfect introduction to the band.

‘Abrasive’ is the timeless rebuke song in the face of a friendship or relationship that’s diminished… well, slightly less than amicably – and it’s a bit hard to say no to a chorus that allows you to scream “fuck you” at the top of your lungs a few times, isn’t it? It’s reminiscent of Between You & Me’s ‘Dakota’, and fans of the Aussie pop punkers will definitely find plenty to appreciate in Weigh The Anchor’s sound, too. ‘Clandestine’ follows as an unapologetically bouncy three minutes, with a sneaky – but very welcome – middle-eight breakdown dropping in to up the tempo for the final chorus, and in just three tracks it feels like we’ve already seen three different, but cohesive, sides to their style.

Closer ‘Discourse’ is a reasonably standard ballad that, realistically, we probably didn’t need on such a short EP – but, as it is, it’s a nicely done track that does go one step further in showing the variety Weigh The Anchor are capable of, with simple but effective harmonies and some unexpected screamed vocals that inject extra passion into the words.

Despite its brevity, ‘Right At Home’ feels like more than enough to demonstrate Weigh The Anchor’s skills; it’s packed with energy, hooks and, most importantly of all, a tonne of fun. Given a bit more time to continue carving their own unique identity and sound, this is a band who could someday find themselves comfortably among the big names of the genre, and one thing’s for sure – this is a journey we’ll be watching closely.

GEM ROGERS

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