An Earful of Weed

the sonic creations of an Eau Claire export

Eric Christenson |

With the internet and ridiculously affordable recording software becoming effortlessly accessibly, tons and tons of kids with little more than guitars and microphones are producing and recording do-it-yourself tracks more easily than ever.

It’s often a scratchy means of pulling together sounds, but if Eau Clairean-turned-Brooklynite-turned-Vancouverite Will Anderson’s project called Weed is any indication of the way this sort of recording style can be pulled off with aplomb, it just might mean this type of thing might be here to stay.

Weed’s recorded three EPs of pop songs that he buries under layers and layers of muffled distortion and fuzz until the pressure gets so intense that the carbon turns into diamonds, gems of songs.

The first EP, To The North, is notably softer than most of Anderson’s catalogue. It’s muted and it’s clean, comparably, but the songs are still much the same, structurally. If the instrumentation ever gets louder or even softer, Anderson’s vocals are mixed low creating almost a block of audio, or a wave. Nothing stands above anything else.

Then there was DC Hope, a much more professional sounding work (though the fuzz and distortion is ever-present). Standout Quilt (one of my favorite tracks of all time) utilizes power chord-y rock strums with subtle drumming on verses, but when the chorus rolls around everything breaks upward and while the crashing and noise is hard to take, the song’s core is easy. It’s a dynamic that works forever.

Weed continued this style with Down In The Valley, but swung it forward. Some songs on the EP, like Release Party, are quicker and lighter than almost anything on DC Hope. It’s a straight-up Strokes-esque rocker while maintaining the low production.

And this summer, Weed released a 7” called With Drug/Eighty, both songs embodying Weed’s flavor, but adding a sort of alt-90s full band nuance. Both songs are available through Weed’s Bandcamp and Facebook pages.