You Blew It!

Keep Doing What You're Doing

Written by: TL on 16/01/2014 23:33:41

Back in 2012, when people were still talking about this most recent, imaginary emo-revival like it was an actual thing, one of the bands whose sound brought it up was Florida's You Blew It!, whose debut album "Grow Up, Dude" caught on with seemingly every 'mo fan but me. I failed spectacularly at jumping their bandwagon, to the point where I completely overlooked that the band put a second record out last year in "The Past In Present". That was then however. Now is young 2014, and while it's already time to start wondering what blogs and scenes webwide are going to write about when each of them has had a turn at the "Oh wait, emo never died, did it?" article, I've meanwhile felt motivated, from seeing You Blew It! live at last year's Fest, to actually check out the quartet's third record "Keep Doing What You're Doing".

The fun thing to me is that, for starters, I think bands like You Blew It! and their ilk aren't really all that emo. Sure you get the fuzzy, angular rhythm guitars, the clean, twinkly leads and the singer who could probably sing if he hadn't taught himself to sound all throaty and yelpy for the added realness effect. But you don't really get the drama or the urgency. No Jimmy Eat World-like highs and no Mineral-ish wallowing. You Blew It! may have frustrating stuff to mope about in their lyrics, but their playful, mid-tempo guitar figures are better suited to dorky, laid back lyrics like "Strong Island"'s "If I had my way, I'd play /Video games with you /Every single fucking day", than they are to convincing the listener that anything is ever really at stake in the Nothinghappenshereville where it feels more likely these songs where thought up than in the band's hometown of Orlando.

You Blew It's songs hence continue to strike me more as mood-setters than actual movements, and the key to people's adoration for them I suspect lies in the lyrical hooks, one of which is delivered early in album opener "Match & Tinder"'s "I put mind over matter, to put this matter off my mind". Other than the two mentioned thus far however, it's only really the "You've made the list of things I'd like to miss" of "Rock Springs" that's stood out to me, and if I'm honest, I don't think I'd be satisfied even if there were more. The disconnect between the better phrases and the lacking dynamics in the band's carefree soundscape simply disinterests me despite my best efforts to avoid it. "Gray Matter" puts in a late plea for redemption with a rare up-beat tempo and a muted second verse that may have taken a cue from Knapsack, but for me it's too little too late. Considering the number of bands inhabiting the emo underground at the moment, there are fewer points to go around to the bands that don't really do much with the style, and as You Blew It! rather keep doing what they're doing with only moderate charm, I have a feeling even appreciators of the band would offer me defensive arguments along the lines of "but man, I just feel like it's such a chill record to doze off on the couch to".


Download: Match & Tinder, Strong Island, Gray Matter
For The Fans Of: Everyone Everywhere, Into It. Over It., Dads

Release Date 14.01.2014
Topshelf Records

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