With emo, as we know it today, changing seemingly other week, it’s refreshing to hear a bit of a throwback band. Georgia’s Sleep Weather ride the waves of some their predecessors, with a louder and harsher sound then most emo bands today. It’s a little reminiscent of early, punk-influenced emo instead of the “twinkly” sounds of today.
This EP, the band’s first, is a tight four songs that hint at a bigger sound than expected. This comes partially from post-rock and hardcore influences that become apparent at certain points, and partially from the screamed vocals of Chris Branigan and Hunter Rawls. The vocals sound screamo-based, although comparing something to screamo isn’t usually a compliment. But the guttural vocals help drive the band’s heavy sound, in a crowd where many emo vocalists opt for cleaner and clearer vocals than the past. This is used the best on the album’s closer, “My Mountain,” where the music largely dies away during a great breakdown and the screaming vocals are harshly coupled with the quieted music.
The band, also consisting of Chris Slyfield on bass and Allen McCleese (with Branigan and Rawls on guitar), largely sticks to midtempo music. When it all comes together, it resembles Algernon Cadwallader’s brief existence as the emo revivalists who set the template in 2011, only to have most bands approach a more harmonious sound. The band sets itself apart in the first song, “Grasoline,” an almost painfully slow and long-winded song that’s more post-rock than it is emo. The band is, at times, in no rush to hit their climax. Their music is not necessarily heavy and it is not overly fast, but it’s very forceful. Sleep Weather have an angrier sound to them, consistent throughout the EP.
The EP’s production is a little too rough at times, but they’re just starting out, so it’s easily excusable. And the genre they play isn’t exactly classifiable. It’s like screamo, but more inventive and eclectic, and not rushing immediately towards volume. There are a lot of post-rock influences hidden in their energy and songwriting, but they most closely resemble our current Midwestern emo – just not as “twinkly.” “Two Wheels Spinning” is a promising release for a young band. They might just find an audience in people who are tired of this current, cleaner wave of emo.
The album is available for streaming and download here.
If you like this try: Rites of Spring’s legendary 1985 self-titled, and only, full-length album. While more punk-based, it shares the rougher qualities of Sleep Weather.
-By Andrew McNally