Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The words that Brian Warren, the man behind San Diego, Calif., band Weatherbox, gives us feel as if they're the lit on fire last words of a man going down in an airplane. It's all of the stuff that he just wants to get out before it's too late. They are apologetic and unapologetic. They are frantic and manic. They are spurred on by fear and anger (at a premature demise with all of those dreaded loose ends hanging out there in the breeze, forever to be dangling). They are broken and quivering. They are ejected out of his mouth, accompanied by a temperature that would melt bullets and rings. Warren gives us his takes with the force of a mule's wound up kick, breaking all of our ribs and blasting us through the wall of the barn, knocked quite unconscious and bleeding out of the nose. We're not going to be getting up for a while and when we do, we're not going to be feeling great. It's something in the way he projects to us that makes us think that we've not been thinking clearly. We start to consider the belief that we might be too unaffected, that we might not be informed well enough. We must not be getting it. We find ourselves too soft, not pissed off enough. We're not enraged when someone walking their dog by our house lets their horrid creature defecate on our grass without cleaning up the mess. We suddenly feel as if we've been wronged in a bad way. We feel like throwing up our splintered hands the same way that Warren and Weatherbox do, as if we've got a gun aimed at us by another person we know will never shoot at us. We've got those hands thrown up into the sky, but we're still able to say all of the things that we want to say to that coward, to that person who's threatening us at the moment, who's going to have some real problems with us the second he lowers that weapon and we can beat the stuffing out of him for his idiotic transgressions. Oh, we're worked up. The audacity of that shithead, all those shitheads that somehow affect us. Warren sings and yells, sounding perturbed the way that Craig Finn and Ted Leo get perturbed, but instead of quoting the Biblical passages or finding a way to blame a lot of his issues on stupid politicians, Warren just blames the crap on dumb people and starts breaking bottles with impunity. He makes music that makes you want to rip off your clothes and just get after it. You feel your blood boiling, as if it were poisoned by a new rage that you've never tasted before in your life. You don't like it - this new aggression - but you're not repulsed by this disgruntled, albeit temporary, new version of your former self.