Philly quartet is out to reclaim post-hardcore on the first single off their upcoming EP
Photo by Carolyn Haynes
Philadelphia’s Great Weights are on a mission to liberate their genre. The band was formed as a “weaponized version of their disillusionment” with post-hardcore, and they say they’re ”empowered by an increasing need to reclaim that music for themselves.”
Great Weights’ upcoming self-titled EP – out April 13 on Bunny Cat Records – marks their strongest shot yet in the admirable quest to bring substance to this often reactionary music. The record’s six songs are more tense and aggressive than last year’s beautiful EP Plans, which felt more implanted in indie rock than anything. The band cites At the Drive-In as a main influence on the new material, and even named one of the tracks “After the Drive in.” The interlocking twin guitar lines and vocal melodies certainly hark back to In/Casino/Out era ATDI, but the powerful yell that begins the record on “Morning Sickness” also summons a similar feeling as Cedric’s brilliant opening screams on “Arcarsenal” that kicks open Relationship of Command. The whole EP carries that album’s drive and passion, though of course with an amplified self-awareness.
On “Morning Sickness,” vocalist and guitarist Meredith Haines confronts “ending a long-term co-dependent relationship with a cis het person (who exacerbates your already deeply-seeded mental health issues).” She shifts back and forth between the all-knowing hardcore speaking style and a full howl, interrogating her relationship and the power dynamics within it: “The tension right before we break / when you told me to behave / and now you want to clear the air?/ Well this was never going anywhere.” Bassist James De La Vega, guitarist Al San Valentin, and drummer Pat Higgins provide the sonic backing as the track barrels ahead in dissonant glory.
If post-hardcore is going to have any continued meaning in 2018, it’s going to be through bands like Great Weights who can harness the genre’s musical possibilities while also regenerating it away from, in the band’s words, the “sad boys of the early 2000s who sidelined us, intimidated us, and harassed us into silence.” If this new EP is any indication, the genre may have a future after all.