Weston Super Maim: ‘See You Tomorrow Baby’ Review

The album artwork for See You Tomorrow Baby

The best music out there manages to strike a chord emotionally, whether that’s through sadness or anger. Sometimes, it’s good to let loose. Sometimes, it feels good to climb into a little bit of unashamedly unhinged primalism. Enter UK/US-based Weston Super Maim, a transatlantic duo formed from the combined stylistic sensibilities of vocalist Seth Detrick and instrumentalist Tom Stevens. The name of the game is demolition: they self-describe as “if Meshuggah couldn’t count” – and to my ear there’s a little bit of Car Bomb and Strapping Young Lad in there too, but it all fits perfectly into a tight little package that hurts a lot when swung directly at your frailties. 

There’s an awful lot to take in – tracks like the titular See You Tomorrow Baby come right in with reckless abandon from an instrumental perspective, with Seth Detrick’s vocals rising above it all to tie the musical bow. His vocal style leans less melodic and more in the vein of “hello my voice is basically an extra off kilter drum line” – again akin to Jens Kidman’s approach in Meshuggah – it doesn’t try to be anything else but brutal and it perfectly adds to the absolute madness occurring behind it. 

The Bare Maximum is a great description of the album, but equally importantly, an excellent showcase of Tom Stevens’ multi-instrumental talent. Most of all, it has enough riffs to leave any travelling listener well and truly pulped, and a great solo spot from Soreption’s Ian Waye only adds to affairs. It doesn’t stop there: Autistic Kill Trance and Kryptonite Renegade drag you right into the hellish morass from which they came, the former of which taking the classic Car Bomb vibe of “laser tag mosh pit” to its expected conclusion, before subverting it with some doomier riffing. And through it all, evoking a general sense of “excuse me what the fuck?” that only a few bands can achieve.

Like any good storm, there are brief moments of calm, and the production values really add to this – the dynamics at play leave the quieter segments feeling fresh and full of life. The choice to drill into that form of push-pull on tracks like the jarringly pretty Slow Hell really helps the most oppressive moments of the album shine, and so they do: walls of guitar pierce through each other, the drum bursts are frenetic and the way they sound is almost hypnotic. Stevens, responsible for the mix and master of the record, really strikes a balance in making this sound oppressive and audible – almost certainly a challenging task with the dissonant musical jigsaw he himself concocted.

Closing track Perfect Meadows In Every Direction really brings this album up to another level, taking the form of a rarely utilised mathcore epic and doing the work to function as yet another conduit with which to showcase Detrick’s vocals, combined with a fiercely captivating vocal contribution from Frontierer’s own Chad Kapper. It’s the most complex song on here, and its moving climax leans into a style that I wish we had a little more of throughout the album. As an album, See You Tomorrow Baby dwells on themes around death – and the note it ends on manages to masterfully evoke both optimism for the future and dread for what’s to come. It’s a strange way to finish up, but then basically nothing about this album is conventional. 

So what, then, have Weston Super Maim unleashed upon this unsuspecting world? It’s hard to quantify, and certainly difficult to dissect. But it is pretty darn fun. I can’t wait to see what the band does next and wouldn’t mind being torn in two seeing this live someday (if the duo ever finds a way to make that happen), but I’m enthralled by what’s right in front of me. It will stay in the “I choose violence” pile for a while yet. In summary… See You Tomorrow Baby is chaos theatre for the aural cavity: it doesn’t let up, and it certainly doesn’t let down.

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