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Sweet Weaponry

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Album Review

If the name was meant to be indicative of the music, this Texas combo sold itself short because Sweet Weaponry, the quartet's first nationally distributed full-length following a pair of indie EPs, is definitely fighting well above its designated weight class. Like most bands, Cruiserweight can be read as something of a stylistic pastiche of its influences. It puts the wiry muscle of punk to work on the pomp of '70s hard rock, flavors it with the tunefulness and some of the personality quirks of '80s new wave and power pop and the cheeky irony of the alt rock '90s, and then polishes it all with a brash, whip-smart optimism — even in its more poignant moments — straight out of the 21st century. But equating the music with its component parts, again, would be selling this band far too short. All those inspirations are ultimately subsumed in Cruiserweight's voracious musical attack, at once aggressively upstart (the three instrumentalists chew up real estate at a quick, thrilling clip), fully synergistic (listen to the harmonies lock in at all the right places), and sweetly romantic, consumed by the band's unflagging adrenaline — part Friday night, part Saturday morning — and, finally, transformed by Stella Maxwell's ferocious, foxy growl. Sweet Weaponry springs melodic surprise after melodic surprise — start with "Vermont," the single "Goodbye Daily Sadness," and "Phantom Rider," then take it from there — and it has more hooks than a meat-packing plant. It's an awesome, knockout record.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Comparable to Letters to Cleo, Eve's Plum, and Save Ferris (among others), Cruiserweight is a female-fronted alternative pop/rock and punk-pop band with a strong power pop appeal. Although based in Austin, TX, the band doesn't play roots rock, alternative country, No Depression, country-rock, blues-rock, Americana, or Tex-Mex -- all of which are among the things that the southern Texas city is known for. Instead, their work owes a direct or indirect debt to the Go-Go's and Blondie -- two of the '70s/'80s...
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Sweet Weaponry, Cruiserweight
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