11 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

One of the reining purveyors of literate, indie pop, Weakerthans frontman John Samson takes the band back out for a spin, traveling through a familiar love-torn landscape full of character studies and self-examination.  Falling musically somewhere between They Might Be Giants and later, radio-friendly Replacements, The Weakerthans prove here that they’re committed to the pop direction they’ve chosen, without diminishing their output to a diluted run-off. There’s plenty of depth (“Civil Twilight,” “Sun in an Empty Room,” “Night Windows”), obtuse beauty (“Virtue the Cat Explains her Departure,” “Bigfoot”) and offbeat humor (“Elegy for Gump Worsley”) to satisfy all appetites.  “Relative Surplus Value” has some real teeth, with gnawing guitars and snapping drums, and “Bigfoot!” and “Utilities” surprise with delicate construction and simplicity. Samson’s literary bent leaves images embedded in the listener’s mind; how can a phrase like “we don’t live here anymore” feel so loaded? And haven’t we all felt, at times, like “the heart is a badly built bridge,” but never found the words? Musicians who have spent any time on tour will appreciate the sentiments of the title track, with Samson recalling “the shiny food we found with gasoline” and other delights of the road, carried along on a military-march drum beat and an airy, Theremin-like wave of sound.  An album full of cinematic and poetic possibility, Reunion Tour invites the listener to hitch a ride and come along, pot holes and all.

EDITORS’ NOTES

One of the reining purveyors of literate, indie pop, Weakerthans frontman John Samson takes the band back out for a spin, traveling through a familiar love-torn landscape full of character studies and self-examination.  Falling musically somewhere between They Might Be Giants and later, radio-friendly Replacements, The Weakerthans prove here that they’re committed to the pop direction they’ve chosen, without diminishing their output to a diluted run-off. There’s plenty of depth (“Civil Twilight,” “Sun in an Empty Room,” “Night Windows”), obtuse beauty (“Virtue the Cat Explains her Departure,” “Bigfoot”) and offbeat humor (“Elegy for Gump Worsley”) to satisfy all appetites.  “Relative Surplus Value” has some real teeth, with gnawing guitars and snapping drums, and “Bigfoot!” and “Utilities” surprise with delicate construction and simplicity. Samson’s literary bent leaves images embedded in the listener’s mind; how can a phrase like “we don’t live here anymore” feel so loaded? And haven’t we all felt, at times, like “the heart is a badly built bridge,” but never found the words? Musicians who have spent any time on tour will appreciate the sentiments of the title track, with Samson recalling “the shiny food we found with gasoline” and other delights of the road, carried along on a military-march drum beat and an airy, Theremin-like wave of sound.  An album full of cinematic and poetic possibility, Reunion Tour invites the listener to hitch a ride and come along, pot holes and all.

TITLE TIME
3:17
3:08
2:37
3:34
4:08
2:43
4:00
4:35
2:23
2:07
4:34

About The Weakerthans

Formed after Propagandhi member John K. Samson got the itch to perform and record again after taking a sabbatical to write and start a publishing company, the Winnipeg-based Weakerthans took Samson's music in a completely different direction. Propagandhi had been known for powerful, speedy punk and overtly political lyrics, but the Weakerthans went down a more melodic and introspective path. Consisting of Red Fisher drummer Jason Tait and bassist John Sutton, the Weakerthans took their name from a line from the film adaptation of Marguerite Duras' The Lover: "Go ahead, I'm weaker than you can possibly imagine." The band prided itself on its high standards, both as political beings (shying away from large label or distribution contracts because of their connection to exploitation) and in their personal lives (promoting vegetarianism) and received critical praise for their debut album, Fallow, which was issued in 1998 on a co-operative label, G7& Welcoming Records. With the added presence of guitarist Steve Carroll, the group's second full-length, Left and Leaving, was issued in early 2000 and the Watermark EP followed a year later. By 2003, the band found a deal with Epitaph and issued Reconstruction Site, their breakthrough album. Soon after, however, Sutton left the Weakerthans, only to be replaced with bassist/keyboardist Greg Smith, and in 2007 the band released the fourth album in their ten-year tenure, Reunion Tour. ~ Stacia Proefrock

  • ORIGIN
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • GENRE
    Alternative
  • FORMED
    1997

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