Cataclysmic and feverish, Weatherstate’s sophomore LP ‘Never Better’ is a roaring, soaring powerhouse of emotionally-charged music ready to spark a fire in all who listen. The next generation of heavy-hitting alternative music is swiftly taking shape, and this band could one day be leading the pack.
Stream: “Panic Attack” – Weatherstate
Just when we begin to think punk music is losing its edge, or that rock songs might be getting a little too clean, a band like Weatherstate comes around and knocks the living daylights out of us. The four-piece from Weymouth, England deliver a refreshing dose of high octane sonic cinema on their sophomore album, building upon the path blazed by bands like Nirvana, Green Day, My Chemical Romance, and Fall Out Boy over the past thirty-plus years. The next generation of heavy-hitting alternative music is swiftly taking shape, and this band could one day be leading that pack with their raw energy and rousing songs: Cataclysmic and feverish, Weatherstate’s new LP Never Better is a roaring, soaring powerhouse of emotionally-charged music ready to spark a fire in all who listen.
Never mind, I’ll play it over in my head again today
You always look so tired, barely making a life
It won’t matter either way
I’ve never been so tongue tied
Give me a better idea
Hell I’m the only one that doesn’t know myself
So tell me loud and clear
Write a book on getting by, for idle minds
But that’s no way to live life
A wreck a walking panic attack
Unwind and override
Released February 11, 2022 via Rude Records, Never Better is a stunning sophomore performance from England’s Weatherstate. The follow-up to 2019’s Born a Cynic sees the band of Harry Hoskins, Callan Milward, Joe Hogan, and Toby Wrobel digging their heels in and tightening their craft as they build up and out in all directions at once, embracing the catchy, the cathartic, the edgy and the eruptive throughout eleven undeniably passionate songs. Call it indie rock, pop punk, alternative, whatever; Never Better is a thrilling and chilling upheaval, complete with heavy electric overdrive and churning drums that demand listeners’ full, undivided attention. The album was recorded in March 2021 at the Ranch in Southampton UK with Neil Kennedy, and produced by Alan Day remotely in the US.
“We wanted to create something bigger and better than our first outing, working with a new label, producer, and back of house team,” Weatherstate frontman Harry Hoskins tells Atwood Magazine. “With the 2nd record we wanted to put more time into the dynamics of each track whilst trying not to lose any of our garage band sound in the process. The nature of how it was written I.e mostly remote, meant that naturally this changed during the process. But overall in the end, I feel we set out what we wanted to achieve and more. Never Better is Weatherstate at its most stretched, melodically and chaotically. The hooks are the best we have written and the softer elements are softer than we have ever played with before. The album dynamically is a big change of pace vs our previous LP and EPs, and I think the tracks definitely benefit from that.”
“The name Never Better is a sarcastic playful response to the question of being asked, ‘Are you ok?’” he adds. “I think the nature of losing interest and enthusiasm for tackling life’s challenges can be seen in both the lyrical themes as well as the title name. The name and sentiment actually came to me during a monotonous conversation with a friend whilst catching up, and it stuck from there.”
‘Never Better’ stems from a place of monotony, helplessness, and apathy at the state of the world around us. The record reaches out to different feelings that many of us have experienced over the last few years, from a state of mind that is pessimistic when faced with the question, will things ever improve?
Weatherstate put their hearts and souls into this record, which upon a closer listen is as achingly vulnerable as it is musically unapologetic: Never Better explores such visceral topics as personal grief, abusive and toxic relationships, and “losing touch with things you once loved.” Atop all of this is a resounding theme of acceptance and moving forward despite the obstacles: Of harnessing our inner strength and learning to be resilient and persevere, no matter the cost.
“How’d you get so low? You’ve got to let me know,” Hoskins sings at the start of the album’s tender minute-long opener, “Low.” “It’s hard when we won’t talk in a while, another year or so. Does it hurt as hard as growing up? It happened overnight… Are you happy with the consequence? Sometimes it don’t make sense….” The energy swiftly builds from this unplugged entrance into the searing full-throttle overhaul of “Hangar,” which continues the theme of reconnecting with a distant friend in need – albeit with a more heavy-hitting presence. This is Weatherstate’s quintessence, and it continues as the ignite in “Normality” and again on the record’s stunning lead single, “Panic Attack.”
“‘Panic Attack’ summarises the feeling of anxiety you get after snapping yourself out of a bubble where you’re living an automatic life,” Hoskins says. “Living week by week in the same routine can grind you down even though it can feel like the safest or easiest option at the time. Breaking the mould and expanding your horizons is so important to grow and reach your potential, but its easier said than done, and I can sympathise with anyone who sticks with their home comforts as a way of getting by. Sometimes getting stuck in your own head and overthinking how you need to change things up can be half the battle, so sometimes you’ve got to just take it easy on yourself.”
Further highlights include the swing high, swing low oomph of “Headstone” and fiery wall-of-sound blast of “Here in My Hell,” which showcases some incredibly expressive drumming alongside an untethered, exhilarating lead guitar line.
“My favourite track from the album changes week to week, but all for different reasons, my personal favourites are ‘Normality,’ ‘Here in My Hell,’ and ‘Never Getting Better,'” Hoskins shares. “My favourite lyric in the whole album comes from the album track ‘Here in My Hell.’ The lyric itself is “Dilated pupils, sick from vertigo, living the mantra of taking it slow.” This to me is the perfect oxymoron to summarise the back and forth opposing range of feelings someone might face in any given day. Feeling that you should be calm and content but in reality being the polar opposite and out of control in your own thoughts.”
Whether it’s the band’s lyrics, their earworm hooks, or their sheer fervor that catches your ear, Weatherstate are a winner.
They truly have been Never Better with this gut punch of a second album, an invigorating and seductive collection that perfectly balances rock music’s heat with punk music’s attitude. Weatherstate wanted to level up, and they did all that and a whole lot more.
“I never want to tell anyone a message they need to take away from listening to our music,” Hoskins shares. “I will never claim to be a spokesman or even a role model, but I take pride in the fact that some people may be able to relate to these songs and gain happiness from it. That, to me, is the most important thing, as music should be a form of expression and an outlet to rely on when needed.” Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Weatherstate’s Never Better with Atwood Magazine as the band goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of their sophomore LP!
Stream: ‘Never Better’ – Weatherstate
:: Inside Never Better ::
Low was an idea that came together one night around 1am whilst jamming on an acoustic. It started as nothing more than a delicate sounding lullaby melody, but the whole thing was finished in under an hour and came out naturally. I always loved the idea of a softer ‘Skit’ like track before something heavier, and just so happened that it felt natural to go into “Hangar.” The idea of starting the record on a softer song was a hard decision to make, but I have always wanted to approach album writing as a full piece of work, that listeners would listen to from start to finish. And I love the theatrical side of the lo fi dynamics into a big hitter.
Following on from the same theme as Low, Hangar is about a phone call with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while who was struggling. Trying to help take the burden off them whilst being so far away that you can’t help much. The track was one of the first we worked on for this album cycle whilst being in lockdown, so it was a big learning curve for us, as it really did feel like we were diving into the unknown with remote songwriting. This was also the first track we recorded for the record, separately to the rest, so it felt great getting together for the first time in months to work on it. To me this felt like the start of the new era for the band.
Normality was the first song I had written post Born A Cynic era, and for this reason I would say its one of the closest sonically to the first album. I wanted to write a no-nonsense Punk Rock song with a Chorus bounce, but a lot of changes were made to this in our pre-production sessions. We wanted to maintain the core elements that make up our traditional sound, but also change up the formulas in some sections to keep it exciting. This compliments the lyrical themes in the song, being about the day to day monotony of life and trying to shake off the feeling that your best days might be behind you.
Panic Attack summarises the feeling of anxiety you get after snapping yourself out of a bubble where you’re living an automatic life. Living week by week in the same routine can grind you down even though it can feel like the safest/easiest option at the time. Breaking the mould and expanding your horizons is so important to grow and reach your potential, but its easier said than done, and I can sympathise with anyone who sticks with their home comforts as a way of getting by. Sometimes getting stuck in your own head and overthinking how you need to change things up can be half the battle, so sometimes you’ve got to just take it easy on yourself.
Here In My Hell
“Here in my hell” is a foot to the floor, slap in the face, hit and run kind of song about the downfall of society. This song was written in the height of the ‘Trump final months’ era, where everyday logging in online you were greeted with what felt like the start of world war 3. The tension throughout the world with the start of the pandemic, combined with the ever-increasing hate and division was scary to read, and this track came as a natural reaction to all of those feelings at the time.
Pity Lines is probably the most out of character song we have produced as a band, both musically and lyrically. The softer dynamics we wanted to reach out to on this follow up record and we took big influence from bands like The Menzingers and early Foo Fighters album tracks. Lyrically this song was about an abusive relationship that a really close family member of mine was going through, and how it effected everyone involved in the scenario. It was really tough to deal with and support my siblings, and sometimes it felt like we just needed a place to hide from it all. Which is where the “Dig yourself a hole where no one knows” lyric comes from.
Down is a self-loathing anthem that ironically is probably the track with the most upbeat feel on the whole album. Similarly, to normality, this was one of the first tracks post Born A Cynic, and at first sounded as if it was an extension of that cycle. Once we worked on this during pre-production, the song evolved more to the point where it is now, we wanted to touch on more 90s era Grunge Pop so changed up the guitars in the Choruses. The song touches on themes of being excluded from social circles and self-destructive behaviour.
Current Dose tackles the notion of a lost generation to self medicating behaviour, but rather than shaming this and thinking of it as a negative, understanding that sometimes people have to do what they have to do to function in the hell hole that earth can sometimes can feel like. This vice the track refers to has a meaning broader than simply drink & narcotics, but can be any form of crutch someone feels they use to help them get by, and that’s each persons prerogative.
Probably the second softest song on the record, and not being as morbid as the name might suggest, Headstone is about trying to make something out of ourselves in the time we have here. It’s okay to go through periods of life unhappy and that’s what makes the good bits all the better. “Catch me I don’t want to come down” specifically relates to friends being around when you need a safety net, and how important it is to have the support network that can get you through those monotonous times. We’re only around here for so long, and that’s the way it is, we shouldn’t beat ourselves up too much, and its completely okay to sometimes just roll with the punches.
Never Getting Better
Effectively being the title track, and definitely the most negative track on the record lyrically, Never Getting Better is about the feeling of complete apathy towards everyone and everything. Reaching the point of acceptance that there’s nothing you can do but sit back and watch how everything has gone to complete sh*t. This song was written in the summer of 2020 when it felt like there was no end in sight. We were supposed to fly out to the States for the first time and our plans we had dreamed of for years were ripped up in front of our faces. So I locked myself in my room in a sulk and wrote the hook to this song, which I feel epitomises the whole vibe of the record.
Dead Space is the culmination of the feeling of being trapped inside your bedroom walls but then embracing the comfort that comes with such suppression. We wanted to capture the chaotic nature of being stuck inside your thoughts alone and I think that comes through in the lyrics, and the outro section of the song. We hadn’t actually written the ending section when it came to tracking the album, so it genuinely was a jam to end out the record, making as much noise as possible in the studio. I feel the song benefits from capturing the natural vibe of us all creating together, which we were unable to do for the majority the album writing process.
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:: Stream Weatherstate ::