Published on 16th February 2018
Weedpecker – III
The third long-player from this gathering of Polish potheads is a bewitching listen that demands repeated tokes at regular intervals.
A moniker like Weedpecker automatically brings with it certain expectations of sound, style and the accompanying trappings. However, this 4-piece from Warszawa, Poland deftly manages to both thwart those expectations and assuredly deliver on them. By inhaling elements from a wide array of pot-centred music from the early ’70s they feature a more panoramic sound than is the norm for this genre. Their maturation has been swift as each release has dramatically expanded on the musical vocabulary of the one before.
The glittery guitars, trippy space-rock groove and lilting harmony vocals of guitarists Wyro and Bartek on opening cut Molecule immediately ingratiate. When it eventually gets heavy it manages to do so while maintaining the relaxed vibe, something less skilled bands have difficulty managing.
Embrace is a joy; a mixture of jangly psychedelic folk, Meddle-era Pink Floyd and in the dramatic instrumental mid-section, righteous tube-driven fury. It’s during this segment that some stylistic similarities appear between Weedpecker and Boston’s Elder, their label-mates on Stickman Records. Both groups have the ability to stretch out on long guitar features without ever sacrificing the song in the process.
Musically the album really hits a peak midway through first single Liquid Sky that it rides for the remainder of the album. The bass guitar-driven groove that begins right around the 3-minute mark is blissfully infectious and lays a hypnotic foundation for the guitars to build on. The jangly section in the coda a particular highlight.
From Mars To Mercury starts side two and it’s not only the longest cut on the album, but also its greatest achievement. Again, there’s a passing similarity here with Elder, especially in the heavy beginning and ending segments, but the gorgeous exploration during the mid-section is very distinctive and beautifully played by everyone involved. This is music that needs to be experienced with eyes closed and distractions shut out to really appreciate (herbal medicine optional).
Album-closer Lazy Boy And The Temple Of Wonders is a playful collision of ’60s psychedelia (later Beatles, Syd-era Floyd) and ’70s Zep guitar that ends things on a satisfying note. III is designed for LP, it clocks in at a brisk 42 minutes that splits perfectly onto two sides of vinyl. It’s refreshing to hear concise albums again! I think it’s better to leave the listener hungry for a little more.
I must also mention the production by Haldor Grunberg who recorded, mixed and mastered III. It’s a beautiful, organic sounding record, the mix really letting the layers of these compositions breathe.
01. Molecule (7:05)
02. Embrace (8:59)
03. Liquid Sky (6:33)
04. From Mars To Mercury (10:36)
05. Lazy Boy And The Temple Of Wonders (8:51)
Total Time – 42:03
Wyro – Guitar & Vocals
Bartek – Guitar & Vocals
Mroku – Bass
Falon – Drums
Record Label: Stickman Records
Country of Origin: Poland
Date of Release: 5th January 2018