The opening track to Deadweight’s Half-Wit Anthems is somewhat of a sleeper — after all, chunky chunkas and wailing guitars is the flavor-du-jour. If it weren’t for the oddly melodic tone and the old-fashioned shredding on “The Grind,” I’d have passed on this. As it was, I stuck around for the next couple tracks, in which Deadweight’s unique character comes rushing out past the super-tight riffing.
“Sweet Depression” runs Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion” through some post-modern mixer, keeping that driving bounce which contrasts so nicely with the high wail of the thin strings. Here and elsewhere, the trio is well-versed in keeping things focused and moving, usually providing an interesting arrangement or vocal harmony to back up the catchy melodies. Lyrically, the band seems to enjoy their chemicals, and they’re not particularly picky. It doesn’t seem to affect their playing any, since they can still extrude monster rockers with a sound much larger, and stranger, than three people should produce.
For you see, Deadweight make their racket using violin and cello instead of the traditional guitar and bass. It may sound like shtick, but Deadweight’s competence goes beyond the novelty of their chosen instruments, and it’s a credit to them that it’s not particularly obvious at first. It’s a majestic and unique sound, and an interesting listen.