Reviewed by Luke Winkie, Fri., July 13, 2012
Hollering, airbrushed pop-punk wound in curiously intricate guitar flexes, Austin fourpiece Whitman hardly aims for critical acclaim with sophomore effort Weekends, but it's a rousing ride nevertheless. Anxious escapism riddled with a suburban neurosis colors the throttled "Cul-de-Sac," and "Light It Up" crushes a cigarette butt on rush-hour grind. It's working for the titular weekends: Social Distortion in sneer and Ted Leo in its charm. Here's a disc that deserves to be played loud, unadorned. It's both warm to the touch and propulsive, optimistic. "In the last summer of my life/Before the girlfriends turn to wives," waxes Ram Vela on "Dead Dog Days," a song about being too old to be in a band. This isn't a career. This is a weekend pastime with label support. The punker-than-thou set might not spin Weekends twice, but wholesome earnestness can't be underestimated.