After posting this review, Matt from A Will Away got in touch with me to talk about some of the lyrical themes present in the EP, which has definitely affected my interpretation for the better. Please check out his side of the story here.
A Will Away are a pop-punk band from Connecticut, and Cold Weather is their new EP. Have we got that in mind, fact fans? Good. It’s their first release with Giant MKT, and well, its name certainly lives up to what’s happening outside, but not necessarily on the EP. For the most part, Cold Weather is a warm, sunny affair with beautiful, guitar-driven hooks.
The first four tracks on the EP are outstanding. No, seriously. Matt Carlson’s vocals are full of emotion, with some fantastic little quirks, the rhythm section keeps everything perfect and the guitar goes so much deeper than your average band in this scene right now. It’s uplifting, extremely-self aware and impassioned. ‘Carousel’, the EP’s opener, starts out swinging with some great drums. ‘True North’ is perfectly polished, with mystical, jangly guitar and poignant reflections on faith. There are choruses that pack a proper punch, outros that leave you hanging on for more.
And then, as it leads into ‘The Masochist’s Daughter’, it all goes a bit south.
It’s not all about the lyrics. I promise, it’s not. In fact, were I to listen to this EP without that song, I’d probably give it full marks. It’s bouncy and fun, with loads of playful riffs, but with a deeper understanding of melody. However, there are plenty of bands out there who sing about heartbreak, unrequited love and betrayal without sounding like total douchebags – we aren’t in the grip of 2003’s “new-wave emo” any more. Ladies do crappy stuff too – I am one, I know. But there’s these sly little moments, or outright in ‘The Masochist’s Daughter’, where Cold Weather feels like an attack, like a Cute Is What We Aim For-style sneer on girls everywhere. And that makes me feel uncomfortable. And I know this band is better than that.
So ignore ‘The Masochist’s Daughter’. Rewind to the good stuff about living well. Listen to the guitars and enjoy pure pop-punk joy.
3.5 out of 5 high fives!