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We review the new album from Weathered Man and The Noise – Become The Data

An album rarely comes along as a collaboration, but Weathered Man & The Noise are quite the pairing. Combining the two artists specialities together to create the heavy yet uplifting, Become The Data. 

Natural Force opens the album with a rocking sound that’s brimming with exactly what to expect from the album. Full of distortion on both the guitar and vocal elements, and augmented by thick and intricate drums giving a fast rhythm and a powerful overall sound. There’s a definite essence of fun laced in here, with playful lyrics and a get up and go vibe that’s just incredible. 

Shadows in my Downtime is more of the same. This time there’s a heavy emphasis on the bass and rhythm guitars, rolling with a funky feeling that’s once again head bopping and fun at its core. This time though, the lyrics are much more sinister, with the lyrics almost laughing at threats made by an outside force. This force being someone saying that they will, ‘bleed you dry’ and that they ‘left a nasty bite’. The lyrics laugh in the face of this, brushing them off as nothing more than a shadow. Instead the singer is just dancing around the issue and enjoying themselves despite the threat. 

The third track moves into a much more hard garage rock style, bringing in much more heavy and pronounced guitar that are thick with style and melody. It’s slightly sludgy in its consistency, but never strays from the established vibe of party rhythms. The guitars really set apart the track with it’s heaviness, breaking away completely for a bass solo that’s got so much attitude you can’t help but be entranced by it. Ending out the song is an all out war of guitar, raising the tempo and tension to unparalleled heights. 

Slot Machine moves into a more melancholy feel, with the opening lines of ‘I don’t know why you’re drinking with them, they don’t care about us’. This same line structure is the general structure of the majority of the song. It’s this that leads into the chorus describing a gambling addiction, with the protagonist being ‘in love with the slot machine’. Despite the clear messaging, Slot Machine’s repetitiveness feeds into the idea of this never ending cycle of gambling. Luckily the song doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, ending before the hubris carries it on to the length of parody. 

Pocket marks the halfway point of the album, and it moves back into the more familiar territory. Getting back into the steady indie inspired bass filled rhythm. It’s simple by comparison to the other tracks, but serves its purpose. Showcasing some more intricate string elements with a lowkey bass rhythm, and high-pitched guitar offsetting it nicely during brief solo moments. 

Mr Jones Says You’re Lookin’ Real Good, whilst being a mouthful, ups the tempo and gets right into a fast paced and heavy song that’s surprisingly catchy. With it’s chorus being basically the title, yet being surprisingly fun. The chorus moments are filled with absolute sound explosions and shows the intricacy of the songwriting so well. 

The next track, Bluetooth Sound is where the album finally feels like there’s a slight dud. Even then, Bluetooth Sound uses a strong marching drum beat and backing vocals to push forward it’s stronger elements. It’s the weakest track thus far, but still sets itself apart from the pack cleverly with these style choices. It’s worth noting that the entire album has used the same instruments, style, and effects, with every song sounding distinctly different despite this. It just shows that the songwriting is on point and doesn’t actually need to switch styles sporadically, instead sticking to the same basics and growing from there. 

Thinking About Me, once again moves to a foot tapping track that’s got a lot of attitude. But similar to Bluetooth Sound is still one of the albums weaker tracks. It’s full of fun vocals that are made better by backing vocals, guitar that’s intricate yet easy to follow and an amazing drum outing. 

The penultimate track, Salty is immediately back into the near perfect record of the album. Opening with a strong instrumental section that leaves the listener wishing it was a little longer before the vocals kick in. It’s a much more subtle and saddening track, speaking on the topic of prescription drugs and mental health. It’s some of the best lyrical content on the album, and is possibly the understated hero of the album. With some of the cleverest lyrical content pushed to incredible heights by the once again stellar guitar performances. It’s made even better by lingering just a little longer than every other track, showcasing the subtle meaning of drugs being hard to kick. Whether this is incidental or purposeful we shall never know. 

Mainline, is the closing track, and feels like the logical end to the journey that Become The Data has taken its listener on. ‘It’s time to reap the seeds I have sown’, being one line that sticks out particularly. There’s this definite feeling of conclusion, yet there’s this feeling of hopefulness, especially in the vocals. Despite being only two-and-a-half minutes long, it feels so much longer than this. It’s a beautiful track that showcases both the sadness and hope that have been key themes throughout the album’s many tracks. 

Become The Data can be summarised quite easily as, an album that is as close to perfect as one can possibly get. There are no ‘bad’ songs on the track, despite some being weaker than others. There’s a consistent stylistic motif on display, with the same instruments and sounds being repurposed and changed to give each song it’s own specific feel.

It never strays from this routine, but it never needs to! It knows what it is and uses what tools it has to craft some of the best indie rock tracks you can listen to today. It’s truly hard to find a bad word to say, as the album is near bulletproof in it’s carefully crafted sounds and lyrics. With any criticism being purely nitpicking and very minor. It’s a true rarity to find something so well crafted from back to front, and even rarer to find an album that never breaks its mould for a single track.