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Weed Patch | Maybe the Brakes Will Fail (Ohgrowupalready)
Weed Patch is essentially the work, well at least the vision, of just one man ?? Neal Weiss, though he's in fact very capably assisted by a host of guests on this, his (more correctly their, for they are now indeed a band in the truest sense, as Weiss has, since recording, also established a touring line-up) debut album, 'Maybe The Brakes Will Fail'. Glad we got that sorted out!
Recorded in sporadic bursts of activity over three years, parenthood punctuating the project for several contributors including Weiss himself, the finished article has been well worth the wait. Incorporating traditional roots and pop influences with which it's easy to make a lasting rapport whilst simultaneously bending the rules by pushing at sonic boundaries too few bands operating in this field dare to explore, the album is extremely irresistibly accessible.
The principal player alongside Weiss is Gingersol's Seth Rothschild, who also co-produced the album. As comfortable and adept as he unquestionably is at integrating the unexpected into his musical spectrum, be it the experimental or unusual instrumentation ?? loops, backwards guitars, or most usually dishware, he's equally accomplished at writing more traditionally roots materials as well ?? the brief Lilies (1/20/02) or Manhattan Manhattan being fine examples and perhaps hinting at avenues he could explore further in future. Nothings on the other hand is a splendid juxtaposition of both his strengths, and Like California is simply pop nirvana in anyone's language.
Despite the time spent from initiation to completion of the album, the variety of guests involved, including multi-instrumentalist Ben Peeler, Grey De Lisle and Minibar's rhythm section of Sid Jordan and Malcolm Cross and the disparate array of influences and styles, as an album, 'Maybe The Brakes Will Fail' is about as cohesive as they come. Combine that with its eye-catching sleeve art ?? a cartoon of an angel-winged VW Beetle flying downtown ?? and this album is just too good to miss.

Geraint Jones
CWAS #13 - Autumn 2003