Recorded in a Hollywood warehouse over the course of a very flexible schedule between the summers of 2001 and 2002, Weed Patch's debut, Maybe the Brakes Will Fail, is a jumble of little songs that range from a few seconds of aimless noise to solidly crafted tunes with tight hooks and somewhat bemusing lyrics. Neal Weiss has an impish ear for arrangements: on "Let Go of the Wheel" he scrambles cheerful Herb Alpert-like trumpets into a snarl of lo-fi guitar racket and makes it sound good; while less obtrusively his addition of a simple sleigh-bell into the outtro vamp on "Like California" is all it takes to create a sense of movement -- geographically cockeyed though it may be -- through the breezy West. The L.A. alt-rock veterans who play behind Weiss connect impeccably with the material; their progression from a somnambulant country trudge to a frenzied few seconds of neo-punk and into a descent back to slow motion marks "Dreaming My Days Away" as a mini-masterpiece of lyric/feel fusion. And, heady though it sounds, Weiss's tribute to medication on "Codeine" brings nothing less than Ray Davies' "Demon Alcohol" to what's left of your mind. Like a scuffed-up silver dollar found among last night's trash on Venice Beach, Maybe The Brakes Will Fail is the kind of discovery that can start your day right.
AllMusic Review by Robert L. Doerschuk