EP Review: Weather McNabb – Cubicle Zombie

Weather McNabb

Weather McNabb releases new EP Cubicle Zombie, featuring impressively dark lyrics built around genre-hopping sounds and strong choruses.

If Cubicle Zombie is anything to go by, Weather is not a happy bunny. She’s always been quirky in her music, but here, she has a really chip on her shoulder and uses the EP to vent her troubles. Ranging from the way society likes to put us in boxes to controlling us through menial office work, these are just a couple of gripes on the record, and the morning you listen, the deeper and darker the lyrics become.

Good Morning opens up the EP with a dirty guitar riff which is quickly accompanied by electronic drums and a foreboding atmosphere; Weather then joins in on vocals to a ska beat and jazz drums. It doesn’t stop there though, with plenty more styles being introduced as the track continues – piano based sections one minute to a pop chorus the next.  It’s an inventive track that jumps around everywhere and at its most jaunty when a backing brass section kicks in. It all comes together against languid lyrics of “cubicle zombies sitting and rotting”, taking a swipe at people who settle for less, which is a situation the singer is seemingly glad she’s managed to avoid.

Cubicle Zombie

Adapt starts off in sultry fashion with Weather’s vocals taking centre stage as she once again sings of the disappointment of working a job you don’t like for ‘the man’:  “your soul’s on sale from 9-5”. She really has a grudge against office jobs doesn’t she? Once again the chorus soars high and really shows the artist’s talent for grabbing the listeners attention through a strong knowledge of how to breakdown a song before building it back up with plenty of layers.

War Paint creeps even further into the dark with more ill-lighted lyrics and connotations backed by a strong melody, all set against thumping drums and a beat that bellows forwards – if you think of a cross between british bands Bloc Party and Florence And The Machine you’d be on the right tracks. Even though the material is sombre, Weather is having fun here and it really comes through in the production, helping make the track an EP highlight.

Time Machine shows that the artist can do pop really well, taking tips from Taylor Swift’s Reputation album with futuristic sounds, empowerment lyrics, and the recent trend for talking sections. User Error finishes off the EP with a beat that centres around the singer’s volatility, and really comes alive as the track progresses by adding guitars, synths and a real anguish in the singer’s vocals. Weather’s lyrics are at their most poetic yet, but she still refuses to step away from the somber material she loves.

Cubicle Zombie samples from an impressive array of genres to create a dark and twisting EP that will have the listener captivated throughout. Weather’s use of intense lyrics and a downhearted look at the state of society creates a toxic atmosphere that she relishes in and is able to bend to her will to create some impressive melodies. Where the EP really shines are the great choruses that are frequently enveloped around sinister verses and use a plethora of genres to create tracks that become hard to pigeonhole, but all sound deviously menacing. Cubicle Zombie gives you a different aspect compared to a lot of music out there, and be warned, you might just up and leave your office job after listening.

Score: 4/5

By Jamie Parmenter

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