Weiland – “Vices” review

Weiland is a 21 year old recording artist from Tampa, Florida who came up in 2016 off his debut EP Insomnia. He would follow it up with his first 2 mixtapes Packrunner & Grimey Life but at the beginning of this current decade, Weiland wound up signing Victor Victor Worldwide & they backed his eponymous full-length debut that same fall. But for his sophomore effort over here, he’s decided to experiment with some new sounds & it immediately drew me in.

“Slipping Into the Void” opens up the album with a synthpop banger produced by Mike Dean asking why he’s still alive whereas “Can’t Save Her” tells the story of a hoe pretty much over some new wave production. “Broken Ego” works in some fast drumming with some synthesizers talking about suffering from such leading into “Dangerous Woman”, which has more of a Tame Impala influence to it describing the devil in designer clothes.

Meanwhile on “All the Same”, we have Weiland wishing for a change over some synthwave production just before “Still Chasing After Happiness” goes into coldwave territory asking his ex if she still thinks about him. “Better Place” keeps the synthpop going showing a side of him that’s never been shown before, but then “Hard Time” goes full-blown post-punk confessing that he’s been dealing with a breakup poorly. That being said, it is very catchy & you can hear the pain in his voice.

“Blaming Myself” fuses neo-psychedelia & hypnagogic pop together confessing his emotional dependence on a toxic relationship while the song “Wanted More” talks about the falling out of a relationship over some more synthwave beats. The penultimate track “Mellotron” perfectly lives up to it’s name with it’s colorful production expressing his love for the instrument of the same name & “Farewell” ends the album with 1-last coldwave cut detailing his drug abuse.

Given that his earlier work is deeply rooted into the trap/plugg sound, this wasn’t what I was expecting going into it. That being said, I’m blown away with what I heard & I’ll even go as far to say it’s Dawn FM on Steroids. No disrespect to Abel at all because I thought it was a great follow-up to After Hours, but Mike Dean was the perfect person to help Weiland go into that synthpop territory given the progressive electronic style of his 3 latest solo efforts only to go above & beyond in nearly every aspect.

Score: 4.5/5

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