Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley
When Adam Shearer and the rest of Weinland get onto a stage, they make light of the dark shadows that they conjure with their weighted down songs. The themes that they explore and the shrouded paths that they amble down are heavier than the state of Oregon, where they call home. They are heavier than the world's combined mass of all the pits in stomachs out there, falling to deep depths, where the clear water is still black to the eye. These are the situations and personal quandaries that entice people to wear out a smooth spot on a bar stool and on the wooden top where the drinks of choice slide into with sullen glass on oak scraping. They are when domestication goes awry and knocks us onto the ground spinning and bruised.
It's the quiet abuse that gets inflicted and then worked out with the band's rootsy croon, Shearer treating these disputes of the heart and the soul as spiders that might be plotting to slip down your throat or across your eyes when the evening's stretching by and you're oblivious to their movements. They take over, the stories that are as common as they come, but the Weinland offerings are dolled up with a film of psychological melancholy that just makes one feel embraced and pushed into a snow bank full of knives and downs electrical wires and packs of rabid animals with sharpened teeth. Miraculously, none of those nasty, evil pitfalls lurch out and strike. We're left in the embrace and there's a bit of a sigh of relief when we hit and we're able to unclench our balled up fists and open our eyes.
Shearer and company create a backdrop that is full of ominous sea salt and bummer, a full skyline of tightropes that are being walked across by doppelgangers and all of the other people who route themselves in and out of your life - or could, if your life was inexplicably tied together with Shearer's. It's fun to watch them all up there, against a charcoal gray sky, carrying all of their real and false burdens, with such impeccable balance, just strolling along unaware that the tightrope might not be the best place to spend their time. They do have good balance though, so the protagonists and those on the other side in all of the Weinland songs on La Lamentor they play to their strengths and keep curling and contorting their feet like hot dog buns to travel that rope and not hang by it.
The lingering hearts of former lovers still keep their sights on the one they lost or the one that decided to started to believe they were better off lost. Shearer sings of the agony of thinking about one of those people enjoying the warmth of a different bed - such an uncomfortable thought for anyone to have played in the back of their mind. The person that used to have skin that began to feel like your own is now pleasurably connecting with someone else in the same way, sharing that skin and syncopating their belongings into a nice little unison. It's this idea that plays out directly and indirectly through the length of the album and Weinland treat it like the presence that it is - vacant and untouchable, but full-bodied when it's out of direct light. The presence comes alive when the dogs come out to roam and the shirts get untucked and a cold breeze offers a kiss off.
Click here to visit Weinland's myspace page.