Under Review

The Rain & the Sidewalk

Weakness (McLean Records)

Review By Douglas Mackenzie

Trevor Thompson has got some issues, and he’s going to let you know all about them. He boldly declares that his mission statement is to “ruthlessly strive for reckless self-indulgence, MWAHAHAHAHA…” and this statement may lead you to believe that there is some humour involved in this double album, but you’d be mistaken.

It is densely overwritten and over-recorded; strains of ‘80s post-punk and goth can be heard in the cold-toned, layered strata of drum machine, synth, bass and guitar, as well as Thompson’s acquired-taste vocals. He rants in his flat, deadpan, singsong drone about everything that’s wrong in his life. The album proves this through song titles such as “Regret,” “Rejected” as well as “Repulsive Pining” and “Inane Pining.”

It’s hard to recommend an album that is so musically claustrophobic and lyrically negative. That’s not to say that the album doesn’t have its moments. On a few of the tracks, the music opens slightly and breathes. The elements it comprises work together more coherently, instead of crowding each other. One senses restraint. That’s what this album needs, because you can hear some cool ideas, on say “Abrasive Candy” and especially “A Moment of Weakness”; it just seems like they get smothered instead of showcased to their fullest.