Into It. Over It.


Written by: TL on 06/03/2012 12:01:44

That keeping up with the music scene is an endless, hopeless task is should be evident in how it is currently early March, and yet I still have records from last year that I'm trying to catch up on, squeezing them in between shots of more current coverage. One such release is "Proper", the first album proper from ex-Damiera bassist Evan Weiss and his solo project. Under his Into It. Over It. moniker, Weiss has earlier released the ambitious "52 Weeks" which offered 52 bedroom-style singer-songwriter tunes written over 52 weeks, and "Twelve Towns", which offered 12 low-fi tunes inspired by his experiences in 12 of America's towns, from Buffalo to Orlando.

"Proper" however, is Weiss' first album recorded in a more conventional fashion, with decent studio time booked and enough instruments available to deliver a consistent, well-recorded, full band sound. And while some fans may lament the departure from the minimalist singer-songwriter approach, I personally enjoy how the band sound adds more nuances and potency to "Proper"'s overall soundscape. Effectively the record suggests an addition of comparisons to the likes of Death Cab For Cutie, Transit and Mae, to the ones usually made when talking about Into It. Over It. to the likes of Everyone Everywhere and Paper The Operator.

The sound then, is a punk-ish, Piebald-esque indie-rock, clearly tinted with the tendencies of 90's emo and the experiences of life on the road, cast in a light some times romantic, some times weary and some times melancholic. There's a sense of dense authenticity to it, that has made and still makes Into It. Over It. a rather unique and rewarding listening experience, yet I must admit that even here on "Proper", I continually feel like Weiss falls just short of greatness. His reluctance to work with more obvious dynamics and hooks makes many of his songs feel like they flow with a layered, sort of homogenous structure that's hard to get into without some seriously intentive listening. Simply put; "Proper" is not an album that's likely to just open up to you, as you listen to it while you're ironing your checkered shirts or planning your next move in wordfeud.

That said, the record does have a few notable highlights in songs like "Discretion & Depressing People", "Write It Right" (which gives me a Mae vibe I can't shake) and "Midnight: Carroll Street" (in which I have a small crush on the piano part near the middle). Furthermore, despite the difficulties with getting perfectly familiar with the twists and turns of the individual songs, the overall sound still has a rather irresistible allure in just how oddly real Into It. Over It. always sound, and in the charm of its often immersive, narrative lyrics. In conclusion, I suppose "Proper" shows continued improvement from Weiss, proving another album that makes you feel like you want to get into it, regardless of whatever limited success you may have with that. Still though, I hate to sound conformist, but I do honestly think that Into It. Over It. has the potential to produce even more memorable albums, if the songwriting is tightened up just a tiny bit more.

Download: Discretion & Depressing People, Write It Right, Midnight: Carroll Street
For The Fans Of: Everyone Everywhere, Paper The Operator, Transit, Mae, older Death Cab For Cutie, Piebald

Release Date 27.11.2011
No Sleep Records

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