Posted February 4, 2010 in Music

Keeping a young band together can apparently be hard to do. Weatherbox made its full-length debut in 2007 with American Art, but only frontman Brian Warren remains. In fact, the San Diego band has had such a rotating lineup that Warren decided not to list the players on last year’s follow-up, The Cosmic Drama. His revolving cast of musicians is said to include members of Japandi and Mansions, though drummer Drew Bent appears to be a regular these days. Warren did name the players for his upcoming tour, however, in a recent MySpace post.

“It’s gonna be a blast cuz we got some sweet new jams and were hittin‘ up every quadrant of the United States,” Warren writes. “Landon [Hedges] from Little Brazil is playing bass for us now, so you all get to look forward for that magical f****r prancing around your local venue. Our new guitarist Andrew [Lucia] is also coming. He plays in a band from San Diego called Life Deposits.”

Warren, who previously logged time with Mister Valentine and My American Heart, also appears to be a Mission of Burma fan. He named his band after the Burma song “Weatherbox,” and ironically, he wrote a song called “Weatherbox Is Dead” many years ago while in Mister Valentine. If Burma can change its name to Myanmar, certainly Warren can change bands to Weatherbox, which is where he found rather sudden success with their acclaimed 2006 debut EP, The Clearing. Critics raved about the art-house songwriting and musicianship, and the follow-up American Art naturally reached a larger audience thanks to a strong record label push.

The band members from these releases moved on to other bands or to college, which left Warren as the sole remaining member of a newly popular band. In the end, this may have pushed him to make a solid showing for The Cosmic Drama. As befits his post-punk art-rock agenda, the new album is only available as a digital download or on vinyl, and Warren made use of the vinyl format by giving Side A and B distinctly different feels. While the first side is based on acoustic guitars, the album rocks out when you flip it.Cosmic Drama is also quite unpredictable—loud one moment and lo-fi the next—yet demonstrates an attention to detail that suggests Warren tortured himself over every last musical note. From the first side’s “YouTube the Clouds (Anything That Flies)” to Side Two’s “I Haven’t Kissed a Guy in Lightyears,” The Cosmic Drama is a successfully executed album of methodical, indulgent art for anyone starving for something new.

The album is anything but “unabashed dude-rock,” however, as the band’s MySpace page jokingly describes the music.

What will truly be interesting is seeing how Warren transforms all this artistry into a live setting, which brings us back to the tour.

Weatherbox’s seven-week road outing started with a hometown warm-up show last week but officially kicks off on Thursday at the Wire in Upland.

Another San Diego band, Da Bears, will be in tow for all the early California dates.

Weatherbox w/ Da Bears, The Vinyl Thieves, The Input and Spirit Fangs at The Wire, 247 N 2nd Ave., Upland, (909) 985-9466; Thurs, Feb. 4. 7PM. $10. All ages.


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