on February 4, 2015
For a "punk band" these guys are really sucky and that is great by me. "Left and Leaving" contains some of Samson's most evocative lyrics and the music on this album is fine. "Fallow" is maybe better from their early work but a little disturbing for me at times ("kill something new"), and "The Falcon Lake Incident" is accessible and very interesting in a very visual Eastern Manitoba way. If I was going to a desert island I'd take some Weakerthans with me. If it was only one album it would be this one.
on February 9, 2002
Folk-punk? Prairie-rock? How do you classify a small, Winnipeg band that seamlessly, thoughtfully, beautifully, and in some circles, flawlessly blends punk, folk, and even a little country, into one individual style? John K. Samson's lyrics are smart, unique and truthful while the band works pure magic in every single song. Track #11 ("My Favourite Chords") has become by far my favourite song out of any that I've ever heard before because as simple as it is, it goes beyond words and speaks to you. Some other tracks that deserve mention are "Watermark", "Left & Leaving", "Elegy for Elsabet", and "Exiles Among You". Basically, this band is amazing and this album shows it. Check it out.
on January 21, 2006
I was a radio station manager in eastern Canada in 2000 and this was the best cd we recieved the entire year. The runner up was Relationship of Command by At The Drive in.
If you don't have this cd in your collection, you need to purchase it. It's perfect background music for pretty much any moment in your life.
on March 17, 2002
A two months or so ago, I picked up the Propagandhi cd, "Less Talk, More Rock" which is an awesome cd by itself. But I really the dug the songs "gifts" and "anchorless" where John Samson sung instead of the normal lead singer. Then I found out that John had left Propagandhi, and had made a band called the Weakerthans, so I pretty quickly went out and bought this one. It is truly a masterpiece of just plain music, blending pop and punk and folk and emo and everything into melodic, powerful, poetic music. The songs were slower than I expected, but they still all rock. I love the track "Everything Must Go!" and "Aside" is a very poetic, pop-punk song as opposed to the slow stuff on "Everything Must Go." The title track is probably my second favorite, and "Pampleteer" is very good also. My fav track is "Exiles Among You," which is faster and punkier than any other song on the cd, but still extremely melodic and amazing. You need this cd- it doesn't matter what kind of music you listen to. This is a stunning work of art right here, and I can't wait to get "Fallow" (when I get some cash).
on April 17, 2001
Perhaps I should change that. There just isn't enough good I can say about The Weakerthans. I am proud to say that these boys are from my home town. I'm not sure how to accurately describe the ways Left and Leaving as well as Fallow have moved me. They are simply two of the best cd's one could ever hope to buy. I also recommend you try to get to one of their shows, or all of their shows if you like. I was recently asked what my favorite Weak song was. I answered "The last last one" after a bit of thought and then realized I also loved "Greatest Hits collection" and "ASIDE" and "Everything Must Go" and "Left and Leaving" and well, all of them. I wouldn't be able to pick one of their songs that I could do without. Nothing should be changed about this CD, and having heard their latest song as a recent concert, I can barley wait for more. If you have any sense at all, I urge you, BUY THIS CD!!! BUY IT NOW!
on January 30, 2001
Ahh yes, the weakerthans. To call them "emo" would just be incorrect. To call them "folk" would be an extreme understatement. However, to take this CD at face value wouldn't be doing it any justice. I guess I expected something a little punkier (Being that they are on a punk label), but I am still having trouble finding the right words to decribe this cd. It starts out calm, and throughtful with "Everything must go." Ahh yes, there is that punky, heavier side I expected from former Propaghandi member Jahn Samson. The next two tracks are much faster, but with the same emotional lyrics. The rest of rthe album progresses with a few more folkier songs, and a few guitar heavy balads, until the thrid to last tracks which build up to a stunning climax whihc brought me to tears. Call it what you want: punk, folk, rock, but if there is one word we can all agree on for "Left and Leaving it is staggering.
on January 20, 2002
So Johnny K. leaves Propagandhi and forms the Weakerthans. Yes, it brings a tear to every thrashers' eye, but it had to happen. The band releases Fallow and it turns heads. Personally I enjoyed Left and Leaving even more than Fallow. Rangning from Johnny's earlier days with songs like Watermark and Aside, to something all their own in tracks like Left and Leaving. Lyrically it is probably my favourite cd of all time. John expresses himself like no one i have ever heard. Putting John's lyrics and voice together with the beautiful instrumentation, it makes a cd that I will never grow tired of. To silence the critics, I'm tired of everyone saying how much this is not like Propagandhi. It is something different and in many respects, better. Accept it. Whatever these crazy libertarian socialists do next I'm sure it will turn heads, and I personally, can't wait for it. Personal politics, socially conscience, poetry positive. Rock on.
on April 17, 2003
holy...... i dont think i can fit my full feelings for this incredible album into 1,000 words. so ill try to be uber succinct. basically this is the best cd you will ever by. if u are a fan of ANY type of decent music, aka punk, ska, and.. eh well thats prolly it. even if you like emo, you'll like it. it is the perfect combination of lyrics that make you re evaluate your life and simple, fun couplets and such. it just makes you happy. the first weakerthans song i ever heard was 'this is a fire door, never leave open' and i was blown away. it wasnt the kind of music i usually listen to, yet my body refused to let me stop it. it was too good. i go to sleep listening to the weakerthans every night and wake up to them every morning. i heard about them from mitch clem of [...] . its an uber funny punk comic strip. you should all go to it because he is the best guy ever.
on March 28, 2003
i never thought i would be happy to hear that a member of propagandhi was leaving to form another band, but this was probably one of the best things that could have ever happened to those of us who have experienced the weakerthans. the music can't be categorized -- emo, indie, punk, folk -- it would be an insult to try to squeeze into a little "genre" box.
john sampson's lyrics are wonderful. they seem to hit a nice balance between being abstract and concrete and really brings the listener into the song. plus, anyone who uses the word "communique" in a song gets a plus in my book.
"left and leaving" is the kind of recording that you will want to have with you at all times -- there are songs that fit almost any mood that you may be feeling, from dancing alone in your room to wanting to just go to sleep. check it out.
on December 28, 2000
I'm in love with this record and this band. This is punk rock for grown-ups. It's not jaded, but slightly weary. It's intelligent, political and romantic without being obtuse, preachy or sappy. It's simply beautiful. I'm constantly being asked to describe their sound (because I tend to talk about them a lot!) and I don't know how. I can not compare them with anyone else and they defy the usual genre lumping. When I first heard them I thought of the first time I heard the first Fugazi record. Not because The Weakerthans sound anything like Fugazi, but because the music they play is so original and honest, and made with such intelligence and heart. John K. Sampson's lyrics are amazingly poetic and touching. I've been lucky enough to see them live 3 times in the past few months (traveling as far as possible to do so!) and they're even better live!