Eastern Conference Champions: Akustiks EP

Eastern Conference Champions: Akustiks EP
Philly-bred and now L.A.-based trio, Eastern Conference Champions garnered rave reviews with debut record, Ameritown and got even more attention from appearing on the Twilight Saga: Eclipse soundtrack. As the band works on the album’s follow up, SPEAK-AHH, they release Akustiks EP to hold fans over.
Let me first say, I hate it when bands misspell words on purpose. I hate it when anybody misspells anything purposefully or not but it seems a little dumber when it is obviously on purpose. As the album’s title suggests, the EP is complete acoustic. The album’s concept is not exactly new; the band went into the studio to re-record some of their previous work acoustically and as long as they were in the studio they threw on a couple new numbers too. The album includes re-recordings of Ameritown‘s “Single Sedative” and a previously unreleased song called “Silo”.
The EP also contains four brand new songs. One of those brand new tracks is the opening track “Middle of the Night”. The track has an upbeat folk drum beat that drives it along at a brisk pace. The acoustic guitars make it feel a bit hokey and the addition of harmonica makes it almost Dylan-esque. Lyrically the song reminds me of something off of Ben Kweller‘s 2006 self-titled album. Lyrics like “I don’t try to fight it/I don’t try to understand/but I know that I love you/and I’m not a loving man” make the track feel both quaint and endearing.
That is not the case for all songs. I have mixed feelings about “Silo”. The track is obviously the slowest track on the album with an alt-country ballad feel to it. But the plodding nature of the track is not what bothers me, it is the song’s lyrical content that feels a bit ham handed. Lyrics like “you traded your love/for a bag full of drugs” seems clumsy and unimaginative.
Luckily, “Silo” is the only weak track on the EP. Most acoustic EPs are a mixed bags of songs that work acoustically and songs that sound awkward without electric instruments; Eastern Conference Champions do a good job of eliminating that second category and really streamlining the output into a very listenable acoustic album.
Rating: 8.6/10
MP3: Eastern Conference Champions “Middle of the Night”
Buy: iTunes