It’s genuinely shocking how much chaos just under 22 minutes can contain. In their new album, Weight, difficult to categorize rock trio Siren Suit traverse a lot of musical terrain in what’s basically the runtime of a cable sitcom.
Following 2021’s Monstrous Chitterings - one of my favorite local releases that year, as well as one of the coolest titles of anything ever - the band dived into their unique brand of rock and roll with verve, unafraid to get weird with it, unbothered by the tetherings of where modern rock or most other music was currently stationed. Taking everything that happened on Monstrous Chitterings and somehow amping those up and adding the kind of darkness and desperation that can only come from the state of the world in this Era of Taylor Swift, 2023, Weight is a heavy, driving, devious take on progressive rock that’s as infectiously entertaining as it is cosmetically and sonically perplexing.
Touchstones from previous recordings still apply - Braid, Motorhead, The Dismemberment Plan, Quicksand. If any of those tickle something in your ear, this album is one you’ll want to turn up as loudly as possible to soak it all in. Starting with opener “Samsonite,” a dimly lit highway with a flaming axe-wielding bandit on a motorcycle tearing ass out of town but in song form, the album just fucking goes and doesn’t stop. “Derby Cap” gets big and melodic after basking in its own oddities for a bit, culminating in a delightful harmony and lovely riff. The album as a whole is a practice in that kind of juxtaposition.
Vocalist/guitarist Dave Cupp leads the charge with vocals ranging from grunting, stunted delivery, to melodious droning, but it’s the unit of Siren Suit that makes this entire album hum. Drummer Matt Retherford takes each track on its own journey, somehow keeping songs that feel a note or two away from off the rails in line, while bassist Kyle Knapp holds down the low end and offers his own vocals throughout the album.
“Lane Drifter” is a more straightforward rock and roll tune, but highlights what they’re all doing so well. Siren Suit excels at taking tried and true rock concepts and reworking them into a slithering, writhing, exuberant adventures - that “Lane Drifter” explodes into what feels rock opera lite with big, brash keys and, yes, a saxophone, and still makes sense within the context of the album is, frankly, batshit. And I love it. “Karoshi” gets angry. Riffs. Keys. Yelling. It’s pretty wild, and again, a weirdly poetic follow-up to the opus-esque “Lane Drifter.” As for the other songs? I think they’re worth the surprise.
At only 8 tracks and, as mentioned above, just under 22 minutes, it’s a dense, fun, intense listen and is honestly more rewarding each time you make your way through it. Weight is a ripper front to back, recorded at the legendary Inner Ear Studio with Don Zientara, with subsequent tracking and mixing by Steve Wethington at Candyland Studio. It was mastered by TJ Lipple.
The album also features work on the cello by Lung’s Kate Wakefield, as well as guest vocals by Beth Harris of The Heartless Bastards and Erin Proctor of The Hiders. The cover art was designed by Rachelle Caplan.
Siren Suit will be celebrating the release of their new album with friends Louise, Dustbin, Feral Friends, and Planchette this Saturday at MOTR - get all the details here, and check out the badass poster below.