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Stay Ahead of the Weather

We Better Get Goin' If We're Gonna

(No Sleep; US: 7 Dec 2010; UK: Import)

Here’s one for the all the kids who spent their formative years in the mid-to-late ‘90s worshiping Saddle Creek and Jade Tree, wearing thrift store sweaters or ironic t-shirts before they were chic, sporting Spock haircuts or beards, loving this thing called emo before, as someone so wonderfully put it, “emo became an insult”.

Stay Ahead of the Weather consists of members of other bands like Into It. Over It., Native, and Castavet, who have come together to give those of us who still obsess over Braid’s Frame & Canvas what we need. Sure, it’s derivative, but it’s at an opportune time. How many bands are doing this sort of thing now, when “emo” has turned into gooey pop bands full of whining adolescents with meticulous hair who get played on Radio Disney?

The five songs on We Better Get Goin’ If We’re Gonna, a 7-inch vinyl release, are all wonderful, showcasing the sound of what I like to call the Golden Age of Emo (approximately 1994-2001), drawing inspiration strongly from the aforementioned Braid, but also recalling Hot Rod Circuit, the Jazz June, the Movielife, Hot Water Music, and Static Prevails-era Jimmy Eat World. It’s almost like a little chunk of the first few volumes of Deep Elm’s Emo Diaries series. For me, this is nostalgia, and I’m not really being objective at all, but I simply don’t care. This is an excellent rendition of what was once something so positive in my life, something that died out and turned into evil fumes gathering into a behemoth of sap, pap, and puppy dog eyes. Stay Ahead of the Weather are saviors of a particular sound, and if you like any of the bands I’ve name-dropped here, you will certainly like this.


Stephen Rowland has been founding and contributing to numerous underground film and music publications for the last 12 years. In addition to critiquing images and sounds, he makes no money as a regional historian and preservationist, co-authoring "Postcard History Series: Alameda" and "Images of America: Alameda," available from Arcadia Publishing.

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