Into It. Over It.


Written by: MIN on 03/04/2016 20:40:34

Having previously only heard Evan Weiss’ solo project Into It. Over It. on his album ”Proper”, I started listening to his second full-length ”Intersections” before venturing further into IIOI’s rather vast discography. To my surprise, that album had an overall different sound than its predecessor, and this album, Weiss’ third LP, “Standards”, feels like something in-between those two. It’s more downplayed than “Proper” (which is overall very catchy and energetic in comparison) as it draws heavily on the more fleshed-out indie-rock compositions which were found on “Intersections”, but it’s definitely not as descriptive.

Lyrically, Weiss is more direct this time around. He still has a large lyric sheet, but it’s not as expansive as previously, which makes the songs easier to digest. There’s not as much detail, and several of the songs actually have choruses. Although some texts still feel a little cryptic, others quickly open up (because let’s face it, Weiss is an excellent wordsmith, but on “Intersections” you could easily get lost in the ocean of text). The first track, “Open Casket”, is the best example of the latter where Weiss sings about the place he’s from and the people he grew up with. Instead of sounding like someone wallowing, this time around he sounds like someone who feels better than the people from his childhood:

My friends from where I’m from are all a wreck // Hanging high up on a horse // Hanging heavy from their old routines // They wake up still uninspired with no regrets // Hungover and divorced // They torch their twenties like it’s kerosene

Something else that works really well on the record is the drumming. Weiss has brought in his live-drummer Joshua Sparks, and Sparks’ work is wonderful. Especially the upbeat tempo of “Adult Contempt” or the intelligent fills on “Required Reading” help push forward an album that, unfortunately, feels too safe too often. Most songs have different nuances, and several of them have the material and direct approach needed to make an emotional impact, but they simply fail to. Every strum of the guitar or tap on the piano feels too safe and as if it’s wrapped in cotton, and this seriously holds back the album. The songs transcend nicely into each other, and the production makes “Standards” sound smooth, but it also hinders it from ever becoming more than just music in the background; it’s difficult to immerse yourself into Weiss’ world because the album is simply too soft around the edges to keep you interested. Furthermore, Weiss’ vocals aren’t very engaging; it’s hard to actually feel him. Thus, the album becomes forgettable, and it fails to stand out from the rest of his discography.

IIOI’s third album still sounds like a mix between the indie rock of Death Cab for Cutie and the twinkly emo of American Football, but it doesn’t reach the height of any of these bands. It’s charming, occasionally entertaining, and the instruments and vocals are flawlessly executed. But at the same time, it feels like nothing’s at stake – and when nothing’s at stake, the genre loses its greatest asset: Vulnerability. The biggest drawback on the album is that it may be too digestible. It’s easy to put on, but when it finishes, it’s hardly made an impression.


Download: Closing Argument, Adult Contempt, Required Reading
For The Fans Of: Death Cab for Cutie, Transit, American Football

Release date 11.03.2016
Triple Crown Records

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