Weepikes – “We Are Weepikes”

Grade: A

Key Tracks: “Bad Valentine” “Flatliner”

“We Are Weepikes” is probably a very fitting name for the Finnish avant-pop group’s latest release. The band, which consists of Pasi Peni on vocals and guitar, Jyrki Lehto on guitar, Tomi Nuotio on bass and Ari Reiska Lehtinen on drums, is coming off a 13-year hiatus. Originally forming in 1994, they released a couple EP’s before disbanding in 1997. The reformed in 2010 and, after releasing a couple EP’s, dropped the longer “We Are Weepikes” in February of 2013.

The album has a distinct Lou Reed feel to it.  It is guitar-heavy, and stays melodic without venturing into catchy. Unlike most avant-pop groups, Weepikes focus more on the “avant” than the “pop.” Peni’s vocals align with Reed’s slightly gritty, melodic talk-singing. That’s the most apparent on “Flatliner,” a nearly six minute track of spoken word chaos.

“We Are Weepikes” has a little bit of a lo-fi feel to it, and the whole album has a heavy energy that resembles that of a 90’s alternative band. The last part of “Bad Valentine” has a particularly heart-pounding energy to it. Plus, the album is capped off with two remixes, and because they don’t exactly fit with the more straight-forward blasts before them, they actually strengthen the album’s avant feel.

“We Are Weepikes” has a hybrid alt-pop spirit, gleefully different without being too unapproachable. The band channels 60’s pop-rock and avant-garde, and every song is unique and memorable while still fitting in with every other song. It is simply a great release, and it won’t be attractive to everyone but it should fine a healthy audience.

The album can be streamed and purchased here.

If you like this, try: Another recent bandcamp release, The Raspberry Heaven’s “Nascent Meadows.”

-By Andrew McNally

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