It’s August, which means bikinis and beaches are getting traded in for school clothes and classrooms soon. Down here in Southern California, people are packin’ into cars and heading to the water one last time, with windows down and stereos blazing. Your only hope to get the girls to turn off whatever garbage hip-hop is popular is some carefully-selected pop/rock that inspires group sing-alongs. Ironic bandname aside, Sweatshirt Weather is your perfect summer fix.
If there’s a long lost checklist of everything you’d want in pop/rock, check this band’s pockets. Between their youthful and relatable lyrics, well-crafted and unique melodies, short and sweet song length and overall catchiness, Sweatshirt Weather knows what you want. Each piece of the genre’s puzzle is masterfully delivered throughout the 16 minutes of Getting By.
The highlight of the record is unquestionably opener “Be Someone” (featured below), with the most rock influence and edge of the EP. Singer Chris Stewart nails the vocal intro overtop the only memorably riff on the album, and the chorus is simply infectious. That’s not to say the rest of the album isn’t more than worth your time; the Jack’s Mannequin-esque “However We Can” delivers strong, and the midtempo “Midwester Love” breaks down in a big way at the chorus. With its short length and accessibility, definitely plan on listening to the EP a few times through in one sitting, because there’s something here that is captivating.
Interestingly enough, where Getting By falters is in its own perfection; Stewart does a good job personalizing the heavy-electro influence, but the album begs for a slightly more organic feel. On the most recent Owl City record, Adam Young showed that you can breathe life into electronics, and with only minor tweaking Sweatshirt Weather should be able to achieve the balance.
Small issues aside, it’s clear that the band have got what it takes. There will always be a place in this world for pristine pop/rock, and Sweatshirt Weather has the system down.