WESSON is a British alt-rock band based in England consisting of four members bonded by their love for music and their dedication to penned vulnerability. Chris Wesson leads the band as the singer and songwriter alongside the guitarist Jimmy, the bassist Callum, and the drummer named Dale. The band’s debut album All We Are was released on October 20 and tells the story of relationships, both past and present, and their turmoils; but with the gradual release and acceptance to move forward.
The best time to listen to new music, I find, will always be a walk in the direction of a breeze, preferably down a streamlined street. As I am writing from Boston in the fall, areas like Bay State Rd. which are decorated with assorted leaves and adorned by peaking gaps of sunlight, are perfect spaces to enjoy music. Midway strolls set the tone to freely listen, whether it be conversations or a new tune in your ear. Having all the conditions met at this moment: let's review All We Are, track-by-track by WESSON.
Track 1 Stay or Leave : The opening track boldly begins with the help of an electric guitar and drums. The first lines WESSON marks in the diary that is their forthcoming discography, “Say I’m stuck in an age regression/An adolescent fantasy,” takes us into the usual subject matter of a relationship: its troubles. The catchy chorus hook repeating the title of the song nods back to its first lyrics, describing Chris Wesson’s relationship as immature and not fulfilling for both parties. The love hangs in the balance of ‘all or nothing’ amongst petty fights in an endless cycle of breaks.
Track 2 Second Chances : On a brighter-sounding note, Second Chances contrasts the bubbly and nostalgic feeling one gets from the instrumental present in the song with its opposing lyrics. Wesson discusses plainly the regrets that live in the past which continue to breathe life into maturing doubt. The chorus echoes the word “time” with a track that sounds directly from the theme song of an early 2000s family-based sitcom; taking its listeners back to a simpler time, reflecting on their own mistakes and inability to “get it right”. Life is not an 80s sitcom and there are no second chances.
Track 3 Made Me Happy : On the third track of this 9-tiered album, Wesson looks deeper into past actions to reconcile his current feelings amongst the mellow sounds of guitar, bass, and layered vocals. As plain as it can be said: next time, in a similar fashion to the person he’s addressing, he’ll do what makes him happy.
Track 4 Understand : With Understand, listeners are able to hear a sonic change from the band. Chris Wesson takes the reins, leading us through several moments of pure vocalization with minimal words and in a sense of irony asks, “Why won’t you understand?” followed by a series of vocal harmonies which are not comprehensible. Understand has been marked as the most popular song for the band on Apple Music with good reason.
Track 5 Unhappy Ever After : Alongside an incredibly compelling introduction, WESSON spins the popular cliche named in the title of the song to describe a doomed relationship (possibly a nod to the previous or a new love altogether). Red Chilli Pepper-esque vocals set amongst a layered guitar battle and a drumset carrying the beat transform the song to another sonic level unheard previously by the band.
Track 6 Breathing In : The 6th track of WESSON’s debut album spins the lyrics of their typical subject matter. Rather than the primary focus of the song revolving around relationships, the band sings away their troubles of simply living. “Breathing in” this current atmosphere of toxicity is a result of staying alive with the same air in their lungs. There’s no clear permanent remedy for their troubles or lack of satisfaction except for the temporary exhale which the song itself is concluded with.
Track 7 My Self : In what seems like a continuation of the previous song, similar themes of isolation and boredom plague the mind of Chris Wesson. Comparison continues to be the thief of joy in all instances as My Self illustrates an inner battle between the singer himself and those around him, whether close or simply passing. The lines “Don't know what to do with myself,” echo through the outro of this song, packaging its sound and lyrics with no solution for the problems at hand, simply an explanation.
Track 8 Voices : The second-to-last track on this record solidifies itself as the much-needed grungey punk-rock song in this music collection by its sound, style, and words. With added benefit from the title as well as the opening line, “I’ve got a demon on my shoulder,” fans can expect some nonchalant singing laced in verses paired with a moody aftertaste. WESSON stays true to this genre with their electric guitar, hollow-sounding drums, and longing background vocals. As one of my personal favorites, I'm compelled to paint my nails black, grow bangs past my eyes, and thrash my head in my room wearing black and white striped long sleeves that extend past my ornated fingers screaming, “Nobody else can see voices haunting me!” An important message simplified to its satirical roots.
Track 9 All We Are : The title track of WESSON’s debut album opens with a very somber feeling, unusual to the likes of this band but with a very centering effect. The melodious introduction consisted of an electric guitar accompanied by plucking from bassist Callum Mangold-Jackson. All We Are feels just right in terms of closing off the album by perfectly balancing its sound while possibly teasing a future direction for the band’s music. Chris Wesson, the lead singer of the band, delivers heartfelt notes mixed with the expected tones of existentialism common in the lyrics of this album, singing “Why is a lifetime never enough?” Furthermore, guitarist Jimmy shines at the completion of this song with a hypnotizing solo which bleeds into the album's ending silence. At the end of a lifetime, our relationships, our regrets, our defeats, and especially our endless questions is “All we are”.