In a departure from Weird Decibels staple diet of rock they adopted an acoustic approach for the flip side of previous album Riot Act. 6th album Quiet Act is a fine soundtrack for any Sunday morning.
Quiet Act the last album of the 'Weird' era.
Rock is a wonderful thing, pounding drums, deep bass, loud vocals and gnarly distorted guitars. We've played rock since a cold night in February 1995 when Weird were born. We grew up listening it, from Metallica to Nirvana and back again. We write rock tunes, by 2008 we had written so many it was becoming second nature . It was time for a change.
We didn't want to do a 'Kid A' after all we still loved our guitars, The simple idea was to turn off the distortion and pick up the acoustic guitars and see what we could come up with.
Quiet is the light side of the 'Acts', Riot had been released the year before. They sit together as a body of work. Almost a double album if you like, greatly influenced by Foo Fighters heavy/light twin disc 'In Your Honour'.
Quiet Act was to be the Sunday album, the record you listen to after a night out or the morning after when the taste of the weekend lingers and the hazy memories either amuse or haunt. Much of the album lyrics reflected this, the words were dipped in stories of alcohol and the mistakes we can make whilst inebriated. Its not all bad though, 'Grand Day Out' about our drunken travels to Edinburgh, sparks great memories and I smile every time I listen to it.
Personal highlights include 'Woman in My Dreams', 'Who are You', 'Breathing Space' and 'Buy You A Cape' it meanders peacefully under 45 mins enough time to fully wake up and sort out the Sunday mess.
Recorded in six days in a quaint wooden lodge in-between Gairloch and the picturesque Baddachro Quiet Act was the most amazing album to record.
I was still learning the trade of sound production (still learning, always will be) but I had more knowledge of mic placement techniques and was prepared to experiment. There was some amateur approach to the album though. Including the hilarious guide track session to which Derek somehow managed to record the drums to. I'll explain.
Take a lodge. Divide the band into three rooms, Derek on drums in the big recording room, Greg and Stu on bass and guitar in the toilet, yes the toilet and me (Pabs) in the kitchen hovering over the desk whilst trying to sing and play guitar. Now add cider.
Greg and Stu got royally pissed, giggling like a couple of teenagers in the toilet. (nudge nudge wink wink) Derek's patience slowly ebbing away as the rascals f@@ked about and me in the kitchen silently pissing myself with muffled laughter. Every time Derek spoke or went to drum, all you heard from the toilet was either Greg or Stu hitting their guitars, 'duh duh duh' just three notes but enough to send the poor drummer mad.
That set the tone for the week, madness, drink and then more drink. Derek found one of the best pubs in existence, the fantastic Baddachro Inn with its decking that looks over loch Gairloch In the sleeve notes of the album many of the pictures are taken from that stunning viewpoint.
It was an amazing week and the airy, happy atmosphere spilled onto the record. The sound of the lodge is often heard in the drum fills and acoustic solos. It puts me back in that wonderful time when I hear Quiet Act.
On the last day we even managed to record a live record 'Live At the Lodge' of some covers but by then I was broken and hungover, however I was sad to say goodbye Gairloch as it was an amazing week.
Quiet Act stills holds up well, musically it is fine but the lyrics are a little linear I could've worked a little harder at writing them I guess. I love this record though. We needed to do something different and who knows maybe we'll switch off the distortion pedals again...maybe.
released January 1, 2008
Paul Henry Smith Vox Guitars
W Stewart McCairney Guitars Vox
Greg McSorley Bass
Derek Menmuir Drums, Percussion
Henry Smith Banjo on 'Who Are You'
Written and Recorded by Weird
Mixed by Pabs
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