Beautiful parting shot from now sadly defunct emo seminalists
Shortly after this record was released, Fairweather announced that they were to split. This news will have come as a bit of a shock to their label Equal Vision, who have also just lost This Day Forward from their ranks, but it is also a huge loss to the music world in general. Fairweather were together for four years, and their brand of emo - like a rocked-up Saves The Day, earned them a place in the hearts of many a listener. Without wanting to sound like too much of a purist, this is emo like it used to be, in the good old days before the term simply became a redundant industry buzz-word that grouped wildly different bands together to help widen appeal and ultimately sell records. It is such a shame that they have broken up now, after just releasing arguably their finest and most accomplished album to date, the soaring and beautiful 'Lusitania'. Still, this album will serve as the perfect tribute to Fairweather, a moving epitaph that listeners will be able to remember them by and reminisce on what almost was.
The album opens with 'Derivative Opener' a post-rock epic that rivals Godspeed You Black Emperor! for its rich, swirling layers of sound, before Fairweather warm up and fire off 12 rounds of perfectly crafted emo to create an album the quality of which hasn't been seen since Braid called it a day. Fairweather's influences sporadically surface throughout 'Lusitiana': the frantic 'Silent Jury' could easily be Christiansen and the instrumental '1195' sounds like emo-seminalists Boy's Life, but they always retain a strong sense of their own identity, right the way through to the poignant violin-laced closer 'The Culling Song'.
The band have stated the reasoning behind their split as "two different and simultaneous family emergencies", quashing the various rumours that: Peter is going to sing for Shai Hulud; Shane got offered a major label contract under the terms that he fired the other members of the band; and that Ben Green drunk so much in Las Vegas that he hit a bouncer in the head with his gin and tonic, spat on Peter, left the rest of the band in the casino, didn't show up for two days and when he did he was missing one shoe, holding a picture of Kirsten Dunst and saying something like "I'm going to kill Ben Merkins". Shame, I rather liked that last one...
They will continue to play all the shows on their current tour, and plan to go on one last tour with Give Up The Ghost, The Bled, and Daughters. Their final show will be at the newly re-opened St. Andrews Church in Maryland sometime in early December, meaning that they will never grace our shores again.
I'll finish with a parting quote from the band's website www.fairweatherva.com: "we love you and will miss you all very much". Well, the feeling's mutual.