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Red EP

(Slumberland; US: 20 Sep 2011; UK: 26 Sep 2011)

Dreamy and Abrasive

Slumberland Records has made an industry out of reviving the C86 and shoegazer/dream pop movements. The label’s most notable signing in recent years is, arguably, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, a band steeped in dreamy, hook-laden noise-pop of years bygone. Another Slumberland act, Weekend (not to be confused with the hip-hop/rhythm ‘n’ blues act the Weeknd), has released an EP called Red that is both a follow-up to last year’s Sports LP and a teaser for a yet-to-be released album set to drop sometime in the coming year. Weekend is sonically more abrasive and perhaps a little more reminiscent of the Jesus and Mary Chain, but the most notable thing about Red is that it sounds a lot like, yep, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

Therefore, it should come as little surprise that Red is a bit of a mixed success. There are moments of candy-coated dream-pop glory, such as on the track “Hazel”, and then there are moments that barely raise themselves above the din, such as on the follow-up “Your Own Nothing”. The tracks do, however, bleed seamlessly into each other, which gives credence to the argument that a lot of craft and care went into the packaging of this extended play. Still, there’s nothing here that you haven’t heard elsewhere and done a heckuvalot better, particularly on a Pains of Being Pure of Heart album. While Weekend fit snugly onto the Slumberland roster for all of the obvious reasons, Red just seems like a dalliance, just another band mining a somnambulist sound. It will appeal to those who dig this brand of music in a particular way, but much of the material on this five track disc is filler at best. Ultimately, Red only has a couple of catchy moments, and seems like the kind of thing that you can listen to in the blink of an eye and it’s over before it makes any sort of impact. Chalk it up to just another band trying to tread where others have gone before, except less tunefully.


Zachary Houle is a writer living in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He has been a Pushcart Prize nominee for his short fiction, and the recipient of a writing arts grant from the City of Ottawa. He has had journalism published in SPIN magazine, The National Post (Canada), Canadian Business, and more. He also reviews books for

Weekend - "Hazel"
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