Weed Patch

Maybe The Brakes Will Fail

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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.

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