I don’t usually give anything away about a review in the first paragraph, let alone the first sentence, but Weighbridge‘s Limbic Resonance EP rules. To backtrack a touch, Weighbridge are relatively new, arriving with the release of their first single “Use” at the end of 2018. Weighbridge’s band members aren’t new to music though, having come together from previous projects, solidifying their line-up as: Sean Ross (guitar/vocals), Ethan Taylor (guitar), Josh Godwin (bass), and Jake Leahy (drums).
Both “Use” and “Gaunt” hit the mark almost effortlessly when they were released as singles, so I was keen to see what a more substantial release would reveal about the band and their sound. Firstly, Limbic Resonance is a cool name for an EP. I understand it as referring to the ‘contagious’ or empathic way that emotions can be shared across people, which is fascinating, no? It’s made cooler by the way the term ‘resonance’ is relevant also to the world of music. So I wondered if Weighbridge have defined these songs as shares of their emotions that they hope we all hook into/resonate with as listeners, or whether they’re musing on why we feel how we feel.
Regardless of the intention, I was easily won over by this EP pretty early on, even though I didn’t have the lyrics at hand. First track “Narcolepsy”‘s use of chugging bass and an ominous synth swiftly set a tone of something dark. It was easy to just sit with the lengthy introduction that was broken by the arrival of the vocals in isolation. In short, it was attention grabbing and wowing.
Despite the earnest singing and the driving bass, there was still a clear vibe of “just wait, there’s more to come”, and that kind of scene-setting and sense of unfolding storytelling goes down really easily. “Narcolepsy” does a good job at throwing the listener side-to-side along with their zig-zagging riffs and rhythms. It’s hectic and energetic, with the appearance and disappearance of layers adding to a feeling of turbulence. Moments like the pre-chorus guitar twanging and the post-chorus cross-ear movement add substance, and it’s all surprisingly feelgood for a song that seems to be about instability. The last minute is a downright riff feast, but there’s a lot more that’s packed in here, seeming like “Narcolepsy” promises longevity for being played on repeat. And we’re only one song deep. Like I said, this EP rules.
A little more restrained, “Gaunt” continues a similar buzz of energy that practically begs to have the listener drawn into it. Punishing drums, an uneasy melody, and a memorably grand chorus have kept this one close to mind since it’s release. The vocals are a standout, oozing desperation whether gruff in frustration or clear and searching. Jack Bergin’s (of Void Of Vision) feature is just icing on the cake, adding a short and energetic punch to this full-bodied song. It may be just me that’s resonating with this, but each of the EP’s songs so far reaches their end with a “Fuck yes” sense of satisfaction that they’ve left nothing behind, and delivered exactly what they intended.
Intriguing and warm before expanding out into a substantial Better Half-esque intro, “Lessons Learnt” is far more contemplative than its turbulent EP-mates… at least at first. Questions sung into the abyss come delivered with instrumental oomph, before landing in a weighty chorus. “Let’s call this a lesson learned” expressed so rawly comes across like the aftermath of a brutalisation courtesy of mistakes, or even a present-tense capture within one.
“Lessons Learnt”‘s bridge makes the mess clear, with colliding instrumentation and rough edges feeling like a loss of grip. Post-collapse, it’s the chorus that keeps things rolling despite the slamming beats and the lyrical capture of disintegration. It’s another track that showcases how damn good Weighbridge are, frankly.
If we were sinking into any kind of rut of expectation, “Something Bleak”‘s arrival seems designed to shake that off. Suppressed/distant vocals kick it off before it slips into gear with a sharpened and delectable riff. The pace proves pliable though, and it soon becomes painfully slow in contrast to where we previously were.
I’m swiftly hooked on the twists and turns of this, and how the pace zooms ahead into the celebratory ease of the chorus. And the chorus! Oh man this is satisfying as fuck, and tough to word why exactly. Is it the surprise bass bounciness that shows up? The upward shift at its end before a collapse into an exasperated “ARGH!”? Or what about the defined percussive reinforcement of the vocals, or the searing guitar, the driving energy, and the continuation of this that bleeds into the next verse? It’s just unreal and every facet contributes.
The “holy shit, I love this” mood keeps on keeping on, with an all-consuming atmosphere of losing grip on reality and sinking down. With a mere micropause for a breath, “Something Bleak” is back into a punchy pace before a creative upward stomping vibe. To add to what’s already great is a gritty breakdown of guitar acrobatics, before all the pieces are gathered together for a big finish. “Something Bleak” again has that air punching feeling of satisfaction that I’d probably be feeling if I created a song this good. I loved it so much that I played this many times over (and danced around a bit to it too) somewhat hijacking my own review.
But alas, I had to (temporarily) farewell “Something Bleak” and pull focus back to Limbic Resonance as a whole! This meant moving on to “Gums and Teeth”, which came at me sounding as though I’m hearing it from another room. Despite this, it’s still full and inviting which I assume is due to the prowess of Declan White, who produced, mixed, and mastered the EP. There’s something heart-wrenchingly yearning about the guitar on this track, coupled with the long and unfolding introduction and the force of the drums.
After this slow and steady-ness, the dense and circular rawness ahead of the chorus is delicious, as is the swim in the chorus itself and its impressive climbs and surrenders. Weighbridge are really good at having me feel like I know what’s coming then dropping unexpected accents, like a momentary drum feast, or pulling the spotlight toward vocals on their own. Despite things like this following on from fuller all-band efforts, there’s never any sense of jarring or like it’s an unnatural creative decision.
Weighbridge are continually proving their skill in creating musically stunning choruses that also come rich with emotion from all fronts. After a semi-spoken section, “Gums and Teeth” builds up into a crashing intensity that’s wowing and heartwrenching. I feel that the EP could end on this penultimate track and it’s surrendering collapse of an ending, but “Use” rounds out Limbic Resonance.
Though “Use” is another strong track for Weighbridge, the other songs of Limbic Resonance shine brighter for me/my ears, and the single is an easy does it kind of slide out (for the most part). It’s great though, packed with angst and thunder crashes of raw emotion, especially in its final section of defiant thrashing and determination. For me, this last track could serve as a “Look how far we’ve come” nod, if it was indeed their first creation together as a band.
Honestly, it’s a complete surprise to me how incredible Limbic Resonance is. Though it’s only six tracks long, it never lost me once through its duration. I was kept fully entertained and engaged, and felt part of the experience even without the lyrics or understanding the more intricate meanings behind the songs or the EP as a whole.
Though I try to avoid generalising about what’s ahead for a band, I would be surprised if the release of Limbic Resonance doesn’t see Weighbridge firmly rise to a rush of thoroughly-deserved attention. This EP is set to blow minds and win fans. Well fucking done.
Weighbridge have thoroughly proved their stuff with Limbic Resonance. The EP is a joy to be with and still has clear longevity for relistens. The band are musically tight, the songs are incredible, and there's nothing I'd change about this.
A mind-blowing surprise from newcomers that'll put them on the map. What else can be added to the above gush-fest?