Quaker Wedding


Quaker Wedding Total Disarray LP

There’s a place between LEATHERFACE and AMERICAN STEEL (post-the Rouge’s March album) where this band lies. The great, angularly harsh guitar work is reminiscent of 1997 HOT WATER MUSIC before their infamous Hard Rock Cafe breakup, and the lyrics haunt with the emotional despair and angst of WEDDING PRESENT’s David Gedge. This is their sophomore release on the infallible Salinas Records and fits in with the more raw and rock part of their discography. I didn’t know what a “quaker wedding” was when I was assigned this review. But the week after, I caught one of JAWBREKER’s shows for the 25th anniversary of Dear You and then watched the documentary Don’t Break Down about the history of the band. At the end of the film Blake Schwarzenbach makes a comment that during the meeting when the band broke up, it felt like a quaker wedding where “you just sit there but there’s a lot of weight in the room.” Here the weight is authentically well-defined and felt.

Quaker Wedding Russian Hill / Running List 7″

Okay. Here’s the thing, and I believe I made this point in another review. This is a lathe-cut 7″. Limited to 25 copies. Why? Why is this a trend? Why exude the energy of writing and recording these songs and then spend the money on pressing 25 records??? OK, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way…on to the review. Two songs here that are heavy on the JAWBREAKER influence. If I were to treat this single as a one-on-one battle to the death, I’d put my money on the title track to come out the winner. Apparently the B-side is taken from an upcoming LP. I’ll reserve my full endorsement upon hearing said LP. I do, however, believe that given what I’ve heard here, QUAKER WEDDING has a promising future ahead of them.

Quaker Wedding In Transit LP

The Jilted Lover 7″ was the perfect teaser to this full-length presentation of mature angst. The assumption of JAWBREAKER love and comparison to the GASLIGHT ANTHEM are still deserved throughout this expansion to ten songs. The working class, music veteran vibe with members from all over who have lived all over is on full display here. The intro to the album on “Sinking Ship” is strong, loud, and desperate. It’s the aura of cheap beer soaked into rotting floorboards at the local dive that then continues throughout the whole album. The line, “I’ve become a Midwest lyric / Even though six months I moved away,” from “Aching” is a particularly throat straining and somber scream. While the vocalist has guts that he is ready to show you by throwing them up right onto the floor, the drums and guitars are very proud to stand right beside him, soaked in Scotch and equally in need of a good time after considering the weight of the world outside of the venue. This trio is a force to be reckoned with and is sure to someday make its way across the country and rattle the foundations of every saloon, local, and pub they come across.

Quaker Wedding Jilted Lover / Where You Used To Live 7″

This is working person’s music. These are the kind of songs that say “we’ve been in plenty of other bands and learned a lot of things. This is the culmination of that learning. Now we’ll just keep getting better.” In the descriptions, they are proud to explain the geographic origins of these two tracks, as there are many miles on these three NYC musicians with references to Portland and Corvallis, OR and a history with Detroit. “Where You Used To Live” is a road song in that you feel like you’re following along with the singer as he walks past every landmark he names. It’s very easy to hear JAWBREAKER love in both the writing and delivery of the vocals, especially in the vocal cord strain on display in “Jilted Lover.” The drums and guitars display a dedicated, drunken confidence of musicians who are doing this because they compulsively need to. These are two angry, poetic love songs that deserve your time and aren’t afraid to demand it. Hop on the train with these guys now so you won’t regret missing it like you did with the GASLIGHT ANTHEM so many years ago.

Quaker Wedding Demo cassette

Backpack clutching, back-and-forth swaying, gruff vocal singing, melodic JAWBREAKER liking throwback punk rock that harkens to a time and place that I consciously chose not to participate in. There’s nothing bad about QUAKER WEDDING, and all opening sentence tongue in cheek jabs aside they are totally better than just fine at this thing, but…I keep waiting for something to grab me, and nothing does.