It's hard to believe the Coming Weak have been in business for only three years, now considered alt-rock veterans around these parts and known for their consistently precise and energetic live set. TCW have played and competed in just about every stage and battle-o'-the bands competition in the Northeast. The Coming Weak's promising trajectory began early on with a band-battle victory that garnered an appearance on the 2008 Warped Tour, earning favorable nods from Alternative Press and AbsolutePunk.net. The quintet, led by vocalist Tim White, return with their fourth EP, a harder, louder incarnation of their "anthemic modern rock" or "screamo-pop" or whatever you'd like to call it (just about every online outlet aware of the Coming Weak will reference Anberlin, Taking Back Sunday, or Jimmy Eat World). The "emotionally-charged alt-rock" formula may be familiar — a genre championed locally by Cranston major label kids Monty Are I — but that is no discredit to White, bassist (and TCW's official PR guy) Jeff Langmaid, drummer Nick Benziger, and dual-action guitarists Jamie Thomas and Matt Tremblay. These guys are on top of their game right now, and the new eponymous EP is their most impressive release to date.
According to Langmaid, the band kickstarted the recording process by renting a house in the woods five months prior to reuniting with producer Mike Poorman at Strangeways Studios, home of the band's three prior EP releases.
"Keeping the energy high and giving the vocal melodies top priority were the two focal points going into Strangeways," Langmaid told me earlier this week. "Even on the slower songs, we wanted there to be an inherent energy on this record, and we really wanted to showcase Tim's vocals as well."
White's vocal range is in top form on the EP, an opinion co-signed by Poorman, who has worked with the band since their 2007 debut EP, Consider This. Poorman was also quick to point out their renewed, intensely focused game face while recording.
"In the studio the band is strictly business, the sound is more aggressive and straight-forward, and the songwriting here showcases a more mature, more focused Coming Weak," Poorman said. "These guys have gotten extremely good at their craft, and this batch of songs demonstrates a huge leap forward."
"For What It's Worth" is Poorman's favorite ("There's just something about every aspect of that song that blows me away," he noted), replete with a mighty pedal-to-the-floor chorus and White leading an arena-sized call-and-response midway through, sure to satisfy the TCW faithful (there were fervent chants of "T-C-Dub! T-C-Dub!" at last year's Rock Hunt semifinals). "The Drifting" and "The Shadow and the Shackle" are highlights, along with the searing opener and first single "Days Go By." Most of the selections improve on their '09 release Are We All Letting Go, which boasted some loud, uptempo moments ("Every Waking Moment," "Vacant"). But throttle-pinned keepers like "Take It Back" and the aforementioned "For What It's Worth" continue to point TCW in the right direction.
The Coming Weak EP is available now through iTunes and at TheComingWeak.com, or pick it up at the CD release party this weekend at Club Hell (limited tix remaining). TCW will embark on a regional tour in August, including a Rock the Plaza set at Patriot Place on August 15.
THE COMING WEAK + KEEP ME CONSCIOUS + KODIAK ATTACK + THE TOWER AND THE FOOL | Saturday, July 31 @ 7 pm | Club Hell, 73 Richmond Street, Providence |$12, all ages | 401.709.3923