Sleep Weather / Pace House Split
A string of shows in 2016 brought Sleep Weather and Pace House together, and now that creative marriage has birthed a split EP, one that is steeped in nostalgia and longing. Up first is Atlanta, Georgia’s Sleep Weather. Twin guitar lines bend and wind around one another in opener “Too Far”, their repetition becoming almost meditative. Lyrics such as “I know we could have made it” give the song an atmosphere of emotional catharsis.
Indeed, both the guitar playing and the album’s cover (low-angle view celebrating mundane American building) call to mind that of a veritable emo touchstone: American Football’s 1999 debut. Second track “I-285” continues the theme musically, but lyrically takes on a more unusual topic: an interstate highway. Intricate riffs give way to an excellent breakdown of half-time drums, which in turn move seamlessly back into the second half of the song which is underpinned by a propulsive bassline, leading to a heartfelt crescendo.
Pace House kick off the second half of the EP with a distinctly math-ier feel, the skittering guitars and offbeat drums of “Anne’s Anthem” recall the more sparse parts of Don Caballero. Restraint is the name of the game here: complex basslines and drum patterns tightly interlock without becoming intrusive, allowing the inventive guitar playing and heart-on-sleeve lyricism to shine.
Themes of millennial ennui abound, but words are carefully chosen so that the lyrics sound true and not trite. The EP is bookended by the seven-minute “Ghost Youth”, a quietly epic closer that meanders through several different song structures, showing off the band’s deft interplay between guitars and drums. Pace House know that space is just as important as sound: around the four minute mark the song opens up to quiet gaps, before ending with tremolo picked guitars that gesture towards post-rock. The mood is contemplative and nostalgic, lyrics consider a fading youth that is “Somewhere under the bleachers we sit at now”. The references and musical style of this record may be distinctly American, but the emotions these bands consider are truly universal. - Gold Flake Paint
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