Where was I when Weird War decided to camp it up and become the 21st Century's T-Rex, albeit with none-too-subtle political undertones? Under a rock? In a cave in deepest Snowdonia? Nope and nope, which is why the opener here, 'Illuminated', comes as such a shock, even after multiple listens. I'm pretty certain the Weird War I saw as recently as last year had more musical balls than this dross-out punk-funk-lite.
The track proves to be a slight red herring - as soon as the very next effort it's clear that Weird War can still tap into a rich seam of invention given the inclination. 'Mental Poisoning' is something akin to what Q And Not U might sound like if they'd ditched college in DC for archeology field trips into the depths of the Middle East. You can practically feel the sand in your mouth, sticking to your teeth and crunching as you grind through a restless sleep. 'A Visit To The Cave' goes deeper still, into blues-burnt horizons hazy with eastern promise and through onto the substantial funk slab of 'Word On The Street', handclaps and all. Sure it's retro, but often no less delicious than a dish prepared but a day earlier.
Consistency has never been Weird War's forte, so perhaps we should be grateful for the mercies this album provides. It is both accessible and challenging at times, and a few bloopers aside a perfectly worthy release, providing the purchaser can tolerate Ian Svenonius' occasional lapses into horrendously irritating vocal histrionics.
6Mike Diver's Score