I don’t know a lot about Waterweed, from Osaka, Japan, but the fact that they are releasing their album in the UK with Lockjaw Records put them up in my estimation. I’ve seen them on bills alongside UK bands I deeply enjoy, like Dead Neck and Darko, so naturally I’m intrigued. Let’s dive straight in.
Waterweed wear their Melodic Hardcore on their sleeves, especially with opener ‘Red Eyes’ which is all double time and slick riffage with dirty vocals thrown in for extra good measure. If like me you’re brand new to the band, it’s a perfect declaration of what they are and wish to be as a band and invites in anyone, like myself, who’s a big fan of the genre. Not everything is blistering speeds and frenetic riffage though, Waterweed lean more on the melodic side of things and give off a gruffer No Use vibe with some serious Tony Sly influences throughout. ‘July 31’ in particular is a love letter to the Tony and his band and is a real stand out quality track on the album.
Quality is something Waterweed are not in short supply of with ‘Brightest’. It’s normally a bad stereotype to say that Japanese people have a habit of perfecting something to incredible levels but, to be honest, it fits incredibly well when describing this album. There is a love and care to every guitar stroke, every hit of the drums, every emotionally charged lyric that it puts some English-as-a-first-language bands to shame. Waterweed don’t shy away from their influences, instead creating something beautiful that anyone who is a fan of great music, and especially a genre freak, will appreciate.
As well as releasing the album over here, the band are coming over for a slew of shows surrounding the ever excellent Manchester Punk Festival this year. So keep an eye out - this is a rare treat not to be missed.
Stream and download Brightest here: https://lockjawrecords.bandcamp.com/album/brightest
Like Waterweed here: https://www.facebook.com/waterweedjapan/
This review was written by Dan Peters.