By “Tampa” Earl Burton
Review: Weimar’s album Dancing on a Volcano-Release date June 24, 2022 via German Shepherd Records
There were many artists and groups who were affected by the COVID lockdown of the last couple of years. Perhaps one band, Manchester, England’s Weimar, has more than a passing experience with this, delaying an album for over two years. It will all be worth it, however, as they present a very intriguing and stylish collection of material on their debut album Dancing on a Volcano that should be warmly embraced by those looking for something different from their rock music.
The band, consisting of Aidan Cross on vocals and guitars, bassist John Armstrong (of The Speed of Sound), drummer Eddy Edwards (The Deceased), and guitarist Stephen Sarsen (Frank is Dead, Playground), started recording Dancing on a Volcano in March 2020…just as the COVID lockdowns went into full effect. Through fits and starts, the group powered through the difficulties of the pandemic to get to return to the studio in 2021 to master the album into its final form. That additional time and the experiences the band faced allowed them to produce a very deep and meaningful work, one that transcends just a musical performance.
The general tone of Dancing on a Volcano is a moody, somber sound, fitting of some of the subject matter that Weimar embraces. The first song that jumps at you is the second track, “Soho Rain,” which tells the story of one of London’s most notorious areas, the Soho District. Through their mixture of an alternative and gothic sound, Weimar capture the mood of the area, something that is highly difficult to pull off in an aural sense. The saxophone from Finola adds an excellent texture to the expressive song.
There is an alternative vibe that works its way through every track on Weimar’s Dancing on a Volcano. “I Smashed Through the Looking Glass” was a particular favorite of mine, with Cross’ controlled vocals barely able to contain the frenetic pace that is set by the band. Finally, “Polished Decay” takes a somewhat rockabilly approach, but puts a dark twist to the tune that you don’t expect, but you will enjoy.
The CD is in stores now and, if you’re a fan of an early 80s gothic rock/punk sound, this could be something that you would be intrigued by. Hopefully it won’t take almost three years for Weimar to complete their next album, because they have a very stylish approach that is something that appeals across many different arenas in the music world.
John Armstrong – bass
Aidan Cross – vocals, rhythm guitar
Anthony ‘Eddy’ Edwards – drums
Stephen Sarsen – lead guitar, backing vocals
The album was produced by Adam Crossley and Chris Guest of Vibratone Sound Studio.