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3 out of 10
Oh Weatherbox, what has forsaken you? You were so mighty; you sat aloft the musical mountain looking down at all the pretenders comfortably perched without any self-satisfying pretention or better-than-thou attitude. You album "American Art" was superb, raking in a 9/10 (http://www.dieshellsuit.co.uk/music/Weatherbox-American-Art-1308.htm) - so what the bloody hell happened?
It would seem that the shedding of all other band members that appeared on "American Art" except vocalist/guitarist and all round head honcho Brian Warren was the big red self-destruct button that got pushed over and over again until only a shell remained.
When I hear songs like "Mindthings to W.A.S.T.E.", "Contactus, the Little Green Man" and "King Friend (The Showing of the Instruments)" I yearn for ye-olde days as it tips its hat gently to Weatherbox's previous incarnation and they're mostly a pleasure to feast my ears upon, but then you get "They’re Ready for Us to Come Home" that is an acoustic ditty that starts off OK, if not a little homely, but then breaks down into a horrible, seriously horrible, put your fingers in your ears section of "bah-dah-dah-dah whiney singing over some horrendous stop-start strumming. The lyrics of "my art is not that good art" are appropriate to say the least.
What it sounds like is that there was just no-one to have some sort of quality control over Brian as he was putting "The Cosmic Drama" together and it really shows. So much of this album should have never made it to the studio, let alone onto the album. The entire thing just strikes you as pretentious.
"Ask My Flashlight" sounds like a band practice accidentally recorded and Brian's vocals, which on previous works were a truly interesting and invigorating prospect now drain you, the drawl and whine of it becomes increasingly irritating, making the entire album a gruelling prospect when encountered as a whole.
Oh Weatherbox, how the mighty has fallen. You now lay tired and crumpled on the valley bed, peering up at your former selves pondering what might have been. Perhaps you can ascend the mountain once more and reclaim your place amongst the elite, but based on "The Cosmic Drama" you are to remain floundering to find a foothold.
1. That Mann
2. King Friend (The Showing of the Instruments)
3. They’re Ready for Us to Come Home
4. This Space Intentionally Left Blank
5. Mindthings to W.A.S.T.E.
6. YouTube the Clouds (Anything That Flies)
7. ...And You Will Know Me by the Trail of Dead
8. Two Satchels of Light
9. I Haven’t Kissed a Guy in Lightyears
10. Ask My Flashlight
11. Contactus, the Little Green Man
12. Don’t Say Nice Things
13. Spu?? Ou (Anything That Moves)