It's difficult to know where to start with a band like the Forecast. Unravelling at first listen, ‘Late Night Conversations’ is deceptively dead ahead in its (e)motions, shuffling awkwardly along in a bleary-eyed jaunt down a memory lane lined by discord and despair. But it isn’t the bleak noise of winter storm-wardens, Thursday, or the groove-ridden stomp of chemical aviators, The Kinison, that’s trapped in the tracks of this record. Instead, we are met by a far more wistful and lonesome take on the rapidly decaying emo genre, the sound of Fugazi trudged through dusty, well-worn summer paths while the evening sky rusts overhead.
If this sounds like pure nostalgic waffle to you then it’s probably best to turn back now, ‘cos this album reeks of all the yesterdays it’s been wallowing in and will most probably make you sick. On the other hand, if you like your shades rose-tinted and still feel the tug of teenage summer then this makes for a decent enough soundtrack. Hailing from sleepy Peoria, Illinois has taken its toll on the four souls that make up the Forecast, every song here tinged with the kind of regret and familiarity that can only come from where you come from, everything from lyrics to cover art bearing the scars. While thematically they rail against these trappings, the whole album sounds like a slow process of ultimate defeat, the band seemingly unable to shake the ties they deride. Make no mistake, the Forecast are the most loyal of hometown sons and daughters.
The impossibilities of breaking out of where you come from, and not being scarred in some way by the people you grew up with, (and then outgrew), are realised in this album. By constantly harking back to boozy, dizzy days and nights the band attempt to reclaim themselves from the numbness that comes with broken hearts and lost adolescence, this put across in the Sparta-like serenity of tracks like ‘APR’ and ‘Exercise Demons’. This makes every bouncing discordant riff defiant rather than contrived, and I suppose this is the main quality of the Forecast, the ability to sound sincere in a genre full of forced angst and self-indulgent pity. Simply put, it sounds like someone’s heart really did get broke.