Wednesday, January 15, 2020

SPAZ reviews THE WEEKLINGS' third album, 3!

(Jem Records)


While the definition of ‘Power Pop’ may be in a constant state of flux on social media, the music associated with that term continues to thrive in the real world…

On their 1981 single “One Track Mind”, The Swingers pretty much summed Power Pop up in four words: “Fizz-Pop-Whizz-Bang”. While they weren't actually singing about Power Pop, those words could easily be used to describe the genre. Not coincidentally, those four words most definitely describe 3, the third album by The Weeklings. However, this collection of hook-heavy songs is NOT necessarily a Power Pop album, an homage to The Beatles, or a loving ode to the days of classic Rock/Pop songwriting. It is, in fact, all those things and so much more!

The band is comprised of four talented music industry veterans: Glen Burtnik (Lefty Weekling), Bob Burger (Zeek Weekling), John Merjave (Rocky Weekling) and Joe Bellia (Smokestack Weekling). Although each member works on various separate projects, when these four gents play music together, they are instantly locked into the same glorious groove. Perhaps best known as a Beatles covers band at various conventions on the East Coast, the band’s creative energy really comes to life when crafting their own original songs. On their debut album, THE WEEKLINGS, the quartet offered up six originals mixed with six songs penned by The Beatles (five from Lennon & McCartney and one by Harrison) that were never officially recorded by the Fabs. On their sophomore album, STUDIO 2, the band focused on original material, which made for an exciting listen since all the songs were fresh while still filled with classic ‘60s influences. After two stellar releases, there was only one direction this quartet could go – to the toppermost of... well, you know.

On 3, there are 11 storming Pop delights featuring two stellar cover versions: a great reworking of The Beatles’ “Baby You’re A Rich Man” and a thrilling rendition of The Easybeats’ “Friday On My Mind” featuring former Herman’s Hermits vocalist Peter Noone, (sounding more like he did with The Tremblers than on his iconic ‘60s recordings! Of the originals). Of the nine originals, “I Want You Again,” “Change Your Mind,” “In The Moment,” “Baby Let Me Take You Home,” and “Running Away” are instant highlights. With each spin, those highlights change, which is always the sign of a solid album. Sonically, the album is a gut-punch, a hug, and a big passionate kiss at the same time – it will knock the wind out of you while you succumb to its melodic charms. This ain’t your wimpy, jangly Pop, my friends – this is full-throttle Power (ful) Pop! 

From the inspired reworkings of ‘60s favorites to original material, The Weeklings reveal a deep understanding of what makes Pop music work. As they’ve shown in the past, when they bring their talents together, magic happens. And they don’t pussyfoot around – this is heavy, man! Call it Power Pop. Call it Merseybeat 2020. Call it anything you want. Just turn the damn thing up and feel the music.

P.S. Get their first two albums as well!

Your buddy,
Stephen SPAZ Schnee

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