Sweatshirt Weather - Translations EP
Record Label: None
Release Date: January 14, 2013
Sweatshirt Weather have shown extreme promise with both of their EPs: With High Hopes and Getting By. Their ability to create an infectiously simple pop-rock melody deserves every compliment. However, there is always something about a stripped down, acoustic track that really perks up my ears, which is exactly why I'd argue Translations is the band's best EP yet. Made up of two new tracks, three acoustic renditions of old songs, and a SoCo cover, this EP offers something for all fans new and old.
The lush pluck of guitar strings that begins "Sunrise" really sets the mood for the entire EP. The acoustic environment allows Chris Stewart's voice to a have a more raw, natural feel to it throughout the track, while the call-and-return efforts of Stewart and Daniel Inskeep really add to the opener even more – their singing of "She said this time around / I'll get what I deserve" alone sets this track apart from any of Sweatshirt Weather’s previous numbers.
The acoustic versions of each older song seem to entirely outshine the original cuts. "Be Someone" really shows the growing musicianship of the band, with Chad Kulaga switching from his normal position on bass to lead guitar in excellent fashion. His intricate strumming pattern and knowledge of the fret board gives the chorus the extra pop it needs. On the other hand, the stripped down "Maybe We'll Make It Summer" further highlights the skill of each vocalist, with Stewart and Inskeep each adding his own touch to the song at various points.
Now, covering a McMahon song as a pop band is like walking on thin ice, but Sweatshirt Weather do "Watch the Sky" ideal justice, nonetheless. The piano is still there, but rather than the expected buzzing palm mutes and bass line, the band employs an acoustic guitar, giving the track a different kind of emotion and poignancy. When Stewart croons, "And I will crawl / There's things that aren't worth giving up I know / But I won't let this get me / I will fight" as the guitars cut in, his passion builds and reaches its zenith, making me nod in approval of this take on the classic SoCo song.
With hopes that a proper full length is in the works for Sweatshirt Weather, this EP again proves that third time is the charm for these guys. It seems they can do no wrong. Not even a month into 2013 and Translations has already made Sweatshirt Weather a band to definitely keep an eye on for the rest of this year.