The Drift is a soothing collection of introspective deep Dub vibes and one of the best headphone listening experiences of the year so far.
So, the evening is getting on and you’re balancing your time between the heat of the dancefloor and the cool night air. You go in, you come out. Both are beautiful. The pounding bass and the lights in the club are helping take that band on stage to the next level, while the stars outside keep you company as you catch your breath. When it’s all over, you can hop on your bike and ride home feeling completely satisfied.
If it was possible to capture such an experience and later summon it as a pure sonic quality, that’s pretty much what Weak Size Fish have accomplished on The Drift, their third full-length album and their first collection of new music since 2012’s Shakedown.
After a lengthy hiatus, the band reformed in 2017 and began diving deep into the dub sounds that were starting to infiltrate their jam-rock foundation years prior. With a slightly revamped lineup from that which helped establish the group over a decade ago, Weak Size Fish have truly come into their own with an album soaked in chill dub vibes, layers of memorable melodies and astounding full-band confidence.
“We’ve been playing together for quite a while, minus the hiatus, and I think there is a level of confidence in everyone in relation to their role within the band’s sound,” said guitarist/vocalist Nick Mazerolle. “I think before there were more solos within the band [earlier on] but I think we just moved in a direction that’s more focused on creating texture. It’s more about the vibe than people having their guitar solo or their trombone solo. Even though people do have their lead elements, it’s more about creating a texture.”
To make this record, Mazerolle and his band mates decided to take a different approach to capturing these songs. Working once again with engineer Evan Hanson, who handled recording duties on the group’s previous two albums, Mazerolle said he and his band mates took on a larger role in the recording process this time around, a move he credits for giving The Drift it’s all encompassing sonic texture.
“We did all of the drums and vocals at The Recordery with Evan and Brad [Perry] but everything else we did ourselves,” he said. “We mixed it ourselves and I produced it. I think this approach in some ways gave us more opportunity to experiment with sounds and not worry so much about being on the clock in a formal studio.”
Weak Size Fish have been a festival mainstay throughout the Maritimes for the past three years. Through the festival circuit and off season tours around the Maritimes, the band have invested a lot of time into developing their live show and establishing themselves as a must-see live act. Sadly, this summer’s festival circuit is non-existent and clubs are closed. Which begs the question, how, after pouring two years of work into making this album, will Weak Size Fish be able to promote it and get it out to their audience?
“It’s definitely a lot different releasing an album this way considering the current circumstances with everything,” said Mazerolle. “We had planned to release it now for a while so when things began to change we talked about what our options were and decided that still releasing it this time was a good idea. I think in some ways, people being at home and not working may allow more time for them to listen to a full album as opposed to just skimming through it on their way home from work or on their break.
“In terms of booking shows, the shows we had booked were postponed before we even announced them,” he said. “And right now, we don’t even know when things will be back up and running in that regard. It’s all really up in the air and as a result, it’s forcing us to get creative in new ways so that people will know about the album and give it a listen.”
The Drift comes out April 20, 2020. #420