Weatherbox shoot for next-big-thing status

By By Trevor Hale

By Trevor Hale

San Diego’s Weatherbox has embraced the crowd-pleasing, indie-pop formula that so many bands have tried in recent years. Only this time it works because the band has found itself on the brink of becoming the mainstream’s next big thing.

Weatherbox’s quirky hooks and willingness to experiment with variety has taken the band to the next level — one just above the rest of the run-of-the-mill indie bands that seem to crop up just in time for Warped Tour.

Weatherbox is anything but run-of-the-mill, using vocalist Brian Warren’s half-singing/half-soapbox preacher style as its jumping off point. Warren is backed by a solid set of musicians who are definitely not afraid of trying something different — including the drummer’s obvious fascination with hip-hop beats. On songs such as “Drop the Mike,” Warren even succumbs to a sudden desire to rap, wondering aloud to the listener, “Like, why am I rapping?/Like, do we have no ideas left?”

It’s instances like these that allow Weatherbox to break away from the pack and showcase its ability to be its own band. There are times when certain influences peek through, but that’s a trap in which any band will find itself, and those are the parts that will be exploited. It’s just easier to market that way.

Unfortunately, that’s where this type of music is right now. Every band has to sound like someone else or the kids running through Hot Topic won’t know what to buy. It’s unfortunate because Weatherbox is a band that deserves its own audience, not the leftovers from those going through a Dashboard Confessional withdrawal.

The band’s first full-length album, American Art, released by indie-giant Doghouse Records is a promising debut, full of life and begging to find the perfect audience. There are a few songs that, for some reason, were recycled from the band’s stellar EP, The Clearing, that shouldn’t have been. Not because they weren’t good songs, but because they already had a home on that EP that has now been rendered almost obsolete. However, the tracks fit in quite well and give the album a longer track list and running time, equaling more bang for your buck.

Although Weatherbox will inevitably be linked to the rest of the indie-pop bands and fall victim to endless “For fans of?” advertisements, the band won’t let that stop it from doing what it does best. It will continue to tour, branching out to win new fans and continuing down the path to success.

Next month Weatherbox’ll become everyone’s favorite new band as it holds down the opening spot for Say Anything’s national tour. But before that, check them out at Solid Ground Café (655 E. 9800 South) on Feb. 13, and you’ll be able to say you saw them before they were huge. Weatherbox is going that route. Quick.

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