Into It. Over It.

52 Weeks

Written by: TL on 25/09/2009 19:27:44

If someone ever asked me, what do I think is the maximum number of tracks on an album, I would probably say just about fifteen. As a general rule of thumb, I can mention few artists in whom I have the confidence to produce more than ten songs for a release, without any of them ending up as weak filler material. So imagine the sound of my hand hitting my own face, when I had to facepalm massively, discovering that I had signed up for a promo featuring 52 songs on two separate discs?

That is essentially what the title "52 Weeks" covers over. 52 songs, one recorded every week of an entire year. The madman behind it is Evan Weiss, covered by the Into It. Over It. moniker, and working a day job as the bassist in a certain band you may have heard, namely Damiera, and who is, according to the promotional material, a veteran of many bands before that. For one reason or another, Weiss determined that on the 27th of September 07, to the 27th of September 08, he would write, record and release one song a week. Surely a project that must have seemed ludicrous in the beginning, considering how long some bands take to put out even a 10 song album these days, but nevertheless, here we are with a successful end product.

Now I guess I could have spent oceans of time listening to every single song on this lumbering titan of a release in depth, getting to know the finer points and connections of each, but seeing as I presume that Weiss and his label would prefer this review to be written before they die of old age, just as I reckon other contributors to this site's promo pile would wish for their stuff, I will settle for giving you a brief overview of what's going on, and what to make of it.

From end to end, there's no doubt that this is a release straight out of the indie/punk-rock world. Change as it may soundwise, as Weiss tries out acoustic songs, full on band songs, different recording methods and different instruments, it still feels like everything is very consistently him. And what he sounds like, when things are relatively subtle - which they mostly are, is kind of a low-fi version of Death Cab For Cutie, as he bears an inescapable resemblance to Ben Gibbard. This of course is not a bad thing to start out with, and his expression is not diminished by his louder songs, in which his passionate yells bring such bands like Polar Bear Club to mind.

All you really have to do is imagine a dedicated musician sitting down with whatever he has, to record one song every week of his life, doing most of the playing and singing entirely on his own. Then the sound of the songs should come as no surprise to you at all. Then there is of course the content, and that really is the kicker in a project as unique as this one. We get to crawl under the skin of Weiss, sharing his opinions on anything that occupies his mind on a weekly basis, and that is a very special thing to experience on record. This of course lets us in on the workings of a lot of his relationships, most interestingly perhaps the one which dominates the first of the two discs, namely that between him and one of his bands, who seems lack devotion to their musical career. He even hints at it towards the end of this first record, that he did this to prove a point, writing more songs in a year than they as a band had done in four, and this part of Weiss' storyline has been the one that was the most interesting to follow, at least to me.

On the second disc, things tend to shift focus to more different and personal relationships, and it gets hard to follow what's going on, but in all honestly, that might also just me the sheer amount of music taking its toll on your patience. And that's really a point that can't be denied, no matter how well executed this whole project is. There is simply too much for pretty much anyone to take in. Try as you might, I know I have, but I will bet you that the first many many times you try to get through this mammoth, you will lose concentration and only listen casually after twenty-some songs, or maybe even fewer. That's not to say I think the project is a failure. In fact I have pretty much forgotten about my first impulse, which was to slander the megalomania I felt it must've taken to even undertake this endeavour. Instead I declare myself relatively well entertained, and even if my mind did wander far and often during my listens, for fans of music of this genre, I think this record is a cool and different thing to try and check out.

Download: Getting only some of these tracks would be relatively pointless..
For The Fans Of: Death Cab For Cutie meets Polar Bear Club, Paper The Operator

Release date 18.08.2009
No Sleep Records

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