Vinyl Classics: The Weakerthans – Reconstruction Site
It is always fascinating how the release dates of important albums remind us of how old we have become in the meantime. Sometimes it feels like the album was released just yesterday. In recent times alone I have added the 20th Anniversary editions of Thrice’s “Illusion Of Safety” and The White Stripes’ “Elephant” to my record collection. Going even further back there are the current reissues of Quicksand’s classic “Slip” and the criminally neglected masterpiece “Lyburnum Wits End Liberation Fly” by Moss Icon, both of which have just been released as 30th Anniversary editions. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the third album by The Weakerthans. Where has the time gone?
Emotional songs with lyrics to get tattooed
The year 2003. A completely different time. Studying in my hometown. Without a real plan of where my career as a graduate in social sciences would lead me. Every Friday it was Rock Night at the local nightclub. The Weakerthans were one of the most significant bands for me back then. Maybe alongside Bright Eyes, A Perfect Circle and all the bands associated with the newly established Hamburg based label Grand Hotel van Cleef.
Its predecessor B.A. Records, founded by Kettcar’s frontman Marcus Wiebusch, also released the first two Weakerthans albums “Fallow” and “Left and Leaving” in Germany. Thees Uhlmann, a very popular german singer-songwriter, is one of the biggest fans of the band and even dedicated a line to them on his 2006 album: “When the Canadian band sang their sad songs” is a line in the song “Walter & Gail.”
That line encapsulates the band’s music quite well. The VISIONS magazine described the album back then as a “rock revelation for sensitive thinkers.” Rarely have I read such a fitting description for an album. The emo-infused indie rock thrives on the lyrics of frontman John K. Samson, who has always had a talent for lyrics that one could get tattooed. Particularly impressive is the song “Plea From A Cat Named Virtute” which he wrote from the perspective of his cat, who can’t understand his depressive behavior and all the sad songs he writes.
„I don’t know who you’re talking to I made a search through every room But all I found was dust that moved In shadows of the afternoon.
And listen About those bitter songs you sing They’re not helping anything They won’t make you strong.“
20th Anniversary pressing on splatter vinyl
As mentioned at the beginning of the article a limited 20th Anniversary Edition on vinyl is now being released via Epitaph Records. It is available on “Brown With Red (Apple) Splatter”. Unfortunately the color of the vinyl didn’t turn out quite well. While the color does match the cover artwork, which I generally love, the two colors in the splatter variant are too similar, making them not really stand out.
But that’s nitpicking on a high level; the record simply belongs in every well-curated collection. Even 20 years after its release, the songs have not lost any of their fascination, and the vinyl is currently playing on repeat here.