Words About Music
You Blew It! “Keep Doing What You’re Doing”
Last year, it seems like every internet publication from Stereogum to Buzzfeed covered the in-full-swing emo revival we’ve all heard about by now. Websites with thousands of followers began singing the praises of active groups like The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die, Dads, and Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) while also mentioning now defunct groups like Merchant Ships, William Bonney, and Snowing. As the movement grows in popularity, there are bound to be more acts following in the footsteps of all the different emo and screamo sounds. One of those groups is Orlando, Florida’s You Blew It! This particular band takes quite a bit of inspiration from the 90s midwest sound of groups like Cap’n Jazz and Braid, with a little bit of influence from Sunny Day Real Estate and I Hate Myself, with a bit of a pop punk edge. You Blew It! have a more punk sound to them that would appeal to the Warped Tour crowd, but any fan of the new wave of emo should appreciate the intense lyricism and excellent instrumentation.
“Keep Doing What You’re Doing” is the band’s second full-length album coming at you from new emo mecca Topshelf Records. On this album the band kind of stays away from the more extreme time signature shifts they’ve sometimes used in favor of a more friendly sound, not that that’s bad at all. The band does alternative rock in a very compelling way and this album is made of 10 further examples. The band also uses a few notable post-rock type tropes that wouldn’t seem unfamiliar to fans of groups like Envy and The World is a Beautiful Place. Songs like “House Address” and “Better to Best” display a type of well-produced bliss not all emo bands opt for.
Now let me continue with this. The emo movement has one drawback. While a lot of the groups I’ve heard are impressive, instrumentally intelligent, and display the necessary amount of lyrical emotion, there’s always the fear that a lot of the bands will start to sound alike and I won’t be able to tell them apart. I’ve heard more new emo groups than I can count, but I find it difficult to remember even song names from some of these bands. Now, the more I listen to this particular album the more I enjoy it, but You Blew It! don’t exactly do much to separate themselves from other similar, more popular groups in the scene. I do commend them for the vocal performances, lyrical content, and loud-quiet techniques.
Overall, “Keep Doing What You’re Doing” is a great way to start off 2014 in terms of the new emo sound. We’ve already got new Modern Baseball and Owls albums coming out later this year so I’m sure 2014 will continue to churn out awesome emo releases, but this album in particular is a good way to kick things off. The question is, will I remember any of these songs in 11 months? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, You Blew It! is a good band with a good thing going, and “Keep Doing What You’re Doing” is a perfectly enjoyable album that I can see myself returning to a couple months down the line. I don’t love it currently, but I do see the appeal that I see in plenty of other emo albums.
SCORE – 7.0
FAVORITE TRACKS – Match & Tinder, Award of the Year Award, Strong Island, House Address, A Different Kind of Kindling, Rock Springs, You & Me & Me, Better to Best