By • Oct 14th, 2010 • Category: By Greg Heaney, Featured Review 3, Reviews

Worn Thin
4 Stars

Before you spend too much time wondering about it, yes, the Doc Hammer in Weep is, in fact, that Doc Hammer, the co-writer of The Venture Brothers. What you may not know is that Doc is also a bit of a renaissance man, who is not only a writer, but also a painter and a musician with an ear for that most melancholic of music, dark wave. Which brings us to Weep and their latest album, Worn Thin. With layered, wistful vocals and spacey synthesizers, Weep pays tribute to the bands that have helped to shape the genre while delivering an experience that is uniquely theirs.

The songs have a lushness to them that makes the album deceptively easy to get lost in. “Snow Scenery” opens the album with thick, almost shoegazey guitars that push the song forward while Hammer’s gravely, layered vocals bubble up around you from all sides. “A Reminder” is another warm, textural experience that swells up slowly, starting with an underwater sounding bass line and building the song piece by piece until it becomes this drifting, atmospheric thing. That feeling is reproduced on “Calm Down,” where a gently repetitive guitar and sweeping synths create a serene, floating feeling.

As a surprise, there are also a couple of covers. The band lends their ethereal sound to Jesus Jones’ “Right Here, Right Now,” delivering a version of the song that manages to be faithful to the original while adding Weep’s own twist to it. More surprising is the cover of Rihanna’s “Shut Up and Drive” (which itself has a very strong New Order vibe to it). While the lyrics don’t exactly mesh with Weep’s dense sound, they play the song without irony and do their best with what they’ve got to work with.

As an album, Worn Thin is an incredibly rich and warm listening experience that feels tailor made for those cold Fall days. If you stumbled upon this album because it had Doc Hammer’s name attached to it, then consider yourself lucky. For everyone else out there, just sit back and let Weep wrap you in a blanket of lush, synthy goodness. – GREGORY HEANEY

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