Mary Weaver

Coke Weed

Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records, 2015

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


The last time I spent quality time with Maine's Coke Weed was in 2013 when their third album, Back To Soft, was impressing the hell out of me. Though the band had built a name for themselves in the area of folk-rock, the move into louder, fuzzy versions of retro-rock piqued my interest, to put it mildly. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Mary Weaver, released just two short years later, was rumored to bring David Bowie and Iggy Pop influences to the forefront, which seems like a fantastic idea.

There seem to be two distinct textures on the album. While several songs are introspective and calmer, and allow front woman Nina Donghia's silky smooth yet dark vocals to shine; others, especially the second half of the album, are less classifiable. Early songs like album opener “Malocchio” and the following tune “The Chill” are armed with sultry, late night indie-rock feelings, while “I Could Be So Real” delivers an eccentric version of New Wave and pop.

Elsewhere, primarily on the deeper cuts, is when things get louder and more rock focused, especially on the '70s guitar riffs of “New Jive,” and “Shortest Night,” which brings in a subtle grunge influence, although from a sophisticated angle. “All The Shades” keeps with the louder theme of the second half of the album, not sounding too far off from the contemplative side of '90s alt-rock.

I supposed you might call Coke Weed a psyche-rock effort, but there's more going on that just that. Never shy with reverb and happy to embrace funk and surf rock, the multi-dimensional vocals from Donghia and precise execution from the band put Mary Weaver near the top of their impressive body of work. If the Velvet Underground existed today and grew up on Belle and Sebastian and Cat Power, they might be something riveting that sounds like Coke Weed.

Rating: A-

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