DCMD Premiere: “WTLFO” by Cartoon Weapons


Photo by Ron Akins

One record to have on your radar next month is Last Rites of a Living Legend, the debut album from D.C. experimental rock group Cartoon Weapons that drops on May 28. The trio first shared a taste of the forthcoming release last year via the single “Crawlspace,” but up until now the band had revealed only a handful of details about the album.

“The recording process for Last Rites of a Living Legend evolved so much, but our constant goal from beginning to end was to do everything ourselves without having to enter and pay for a full studio – we wanted to record it on our own but still not have it sound like a bedroom recording,” said Cartoon Weapon’s bassist Zack Be. “In the beginning, we tracked drums and guitar for the whole record over two sneaky weekends at WMUC with help from our friend Trevor Nierendorf (of College Park’s Aphids). It’s almost a year later now, the track list has changed and most of the album has been re-recorded – in some cases more than once – both by us and with the help of friends from the D.C. area. The only constant has been my production, mixing, and mastering, and the hundreds of hours spent meticulously carving out and polishing each sonic corner.”

Before their album’s release date, Cartoon Weapons exclusively shared a track from Last Rites of a Living Legend, called “WTLFO.” The song presents a unique mix, with a ripping electric guitar, quick tempo drum beats, and plenty of looping action. Also, stay tuned until the 4:14 mark, where the vocals have dropped off and the song soars with killer guitar riffs and hard fast drum beats.

“”WTLFO” is a song about the sound of your parents fighting through the walls,” said Be. “It’s an idea everyone can relate to that sets the stage for the rest of the stories told and questions asked on Last Rites of a Living Legend. “WTLFO” was one of the first songs we recorded and then again one of the last songs we completely re-recorded on our own. As the album’s big opener, we knew that getting this tune just right was key. From a production standpoint, this track was a beast: A shifting, 20+ layer mini  “guitar orchestra” (re-created live by Garrett Gleason utilizing live looping), backed up by several layers of synths, bass, vocals, and William Wadsworth’s intense drumming – it’s a massive undertaking by any standard. We just hope that the song’s closing crescendo creates the same feeling of elation in our listeners that it creates in us.”

Cartoon Weapons will celebrate the release of their new album on May 28 at DC9. In the meantime, listen to “WTLFO” here: