Weedpecker, II: Reality Fading

weedpecker ii

Heavy psychedelic rockers Weedpecker hit their stride with their second offering, II. The seven-track/42-minute release is out on vinyl through Pink Tank Records and independently-pressed CD (DL also), and it answers the easy-flowing vibes of the Polish natives’ late-2013 self-titled debut (review here) with a fuller sound and more mature execution. II marks the arrival of bassist Grzegorz “Mroku” Pawlowski (ex-Dopelord), who glides smoothly into the rhythm section alongside returning drummer Pan Falon, and with him, helps set a foundation of solid, weighted grooves over which guitarists/vocalists Piotr Wyroslaw “Wyro” Dobry and Bartek “Bando” Dobry cast out dreamy and exploratory fuzz.

Across its rather considerable span, II demonstrates there’s still room for growth in the realm of post-Colour Haze heavy psych, and more than the debut, Weedpecker leave an individual impression here in songs like “Reality Fades” and the peaceful, patient closer, “Already Gone,” tapping into Elder-style riffing on “Flowering Dimensions” as they did the first time out, but elsewhere taking on a similar low-key mindset that drove Sungrazer‘s second LP toward such expansive jamming. They can be quite heavy at times — “Flowering Dimensions” builds a considerable wall of fuzz in its back half, as does the eight-minute instrumental “Into the Woods,” at least for a while, but the overarching drive of II seems to be more about giving the guitars room to breathe within the songs while setting forth a few choice vocal moments as well, as on the harmonies of the penultimate “The Vibe” or “Reality Fades,” which leads off II in a fashion that both sets up the linear flow that continues from one song into the next but also shows some self-awareness on the part of the band for the immersiveness they’re creating.

Right away, II demonstrates a tranquil pastoralism. “Reality Fades” is obviously conscious of its own hypnotic effect — otherwise presumably Weedpecker would’ve called it something else — but that doesn’t make that effect any less prevalent. Guitars, bass and drums meander toward a fuzzy lead early on, a verse having already arrived over a particularly bright guitar line and gone, and they move into a more densely-fuzzed midsection riff and stay louder for the duration (some Elder-style vocal patterning there as well), but never come close to aggression at any point. That plays well in their favor throughout, as II continues to expound on the far-out beginning, moving through “Flowering Dimensions”‘ somewhat shorter but likewise resonant melodicism, quietly building all the while, but really stomping the pedal at 2:28, just as the vocals seem to hit their peak.


The riff that emerges feels especially Elektrohaschian, but Weedpecker recontextualize the familiarity to suit their own dual-guitar purposes, which sets up the more nodding “Fat Karma” as a marriage of lumbering low end and from-the-deep melodic shouts, engaging and light despite their heft. As the centerpiece of the CD/download, “Nothingness” would seem to have some significance to the overall journey from the moment where “Reality Fades” to when it’s “Already Gone,” and I won’t discount the sweetness of its verse or the tension held in the drums that seems to tease an explosion which — to the band’s credit — never comes, as would be essentially a repeat of “Flowering Dimensions.” Rather, “Nothingness” is another step outward on this cosmic excursion, and while it does swell in volume some around its solo, it never loses the calmness at its center. Like “Already Gone” still to come, and I suppose the subsequent “Into the Woods” as well, it shows the patience that Weedpecker have developed in their sound over the last couple years, and its lack of hurry is infectious.

It’s worth keeping in mind that II is only 42 minutes long — easily placed on two sides of a single LP — because by the time Weedpecker get around to “Into the Woods,” the proceedings have melted to such a degree that it could be five minutes or 500, it doesn’t really matter. The efficiency that underlies their psychedelic lullaby never really takes prevalence to the point of undercutting it, but it’s always there. “Into the Woods” launches a dream-sequence of guitar effects over steady-shuffling drums for its first three and a half minutes or so, but clicks into earthier riffing before the five-minute mark and continues to proffer slow-motion space fuzz from there, letting the fuzz do the talking before ending airy and quiet en route to “The Vibe,” which might as well be the mission statement for the record as a whole. Returning vocals seem to bring the album back to ground, but the truth of the matter is it’s never close, and while I don’t know that the LP’s side B is comprised of “Into the Woods,” “The Vibe,” and “Already Gone” — that is, I’m not sure what side “Nothingness” is on — if it is, the intent to highlight the vocals on “The Vibe” seems clear enough by surrounding it on either side with (mostly) instrumentals.

Layered smoothly and moving into harmony with what’s probably a deceptive ease, the verses of “The Vibe” are worth highlighting, and the molten groove that carries the song to its finish is wiser not to try to upstage them. It’s all the more interesting to hear what the Dobrys do with the almost-post-rock drift that “Already Gone” enacts. Rather than shrink from the challenge of such serenity, they meet it for a few lines and then, naturally, let the instruments carry the way to II‘s finish, the work they’ve done prior speaking for itself. The entire album is the beneficiary of that work, and between the seamless integration of Pawlowski into the lineup and the liquefied soundscaping they bring about on these tracks, there’s no question in listening as to whether or not it was worth the effort.

Weedpecker, II (2015)

Weedpecker on Thee Facebooks

Weedpecker on Bandcamp

Pink Tank Records

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One Response to “Weedpecker, II: Reality Fading”

  1. Gaia says:

    Throwing names like Colour Haze, Elder and Sungrazer around is akin to sprinkling golddust.

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