Review: Into It Over It, ‘Standards’
Written by Joel Funk Edited by Caitlin Kohn
I was in my freshman year of college when I heard an Into It Over It song for the first time. It was the Nervous Energies version of “Humboldt,” and that was right before the release of ‘Proper.’ That record was like a good friend to me that year; I spent a lot of time listening in lounges between lectures, and a lot of my time at home was spent listening to it while scrolling through Tumblr or Twitter. On the other side of this coin, I vividly remember hearing ‘Intersections’ for the first time and feeling disconnected from it. I can’t put my finger on what nourished that feeling, and that probably has a lot to do with the fact that I haven’t gone back to it in recent memory.
The long and short of it was to trying to communicate how I felt going into my first listen of Into It Over It’s third full-length album, ‘Standards.’ I’ve had my ups and downs with this particular Evan Weiss project. I’ve felt an immediate and strong personal connection and I’ve felt no connection at all. The connection that I had with ‘Proper’ is enough for me to at the very least give every Into It Over It record a spin before passing any sort of judgement. With all of this in mind, I have no problem saying that ‘Standards’ is without question the best album of not only Evan Weiss’ career as Into It Over It, but his musical career as a whole.
This record feels like a culmination of everything Weiss has worked toward with each of his projects. There are moments on this record that feel like what I expected to hear from the Pet Symmetry full-length, like the ferocity (thanks to the incredible drumming) of both “No EQ” and “Adult Contempt.” There are songs that remind me of the reasons I fell in love with Into It Over It in the first place, namely “The Circle Of The Same Ideas” and “Vis Major.” Those two songs show off very different sides of the project sonically, but they’re the two sides that I was introduced to almost in tandem.
“The Circle Of The Same Ideas” is actually the last song on the album, and when you listen to the lyrics, last is an apt placement for it. Musically, the song is this beautifully deconstructed acoustic track with poignant lyrics like “You see, now is when I press rewind for mental playback on these eyelids twice/Been seeing two in terms of double/multiplying/both day and night/and I’m up most nights.” You don’t have to look past the surface to see the beauty of this song. It’s a story that could be about anything as menial as songwriting to a much larger comment on life itself. That’s the beauty of this sort of vague language, all we know is that he’s caught in this circle of the same ideas keeps him up at night, running the same familiar memories on a seemingly endless loop.
The latter of those two, “Vis Major,” comes along much earlier on the album. It’s the fourth song on the record, coming right after the immediate and urgent sensation that is “No EQ,”and it carries a lot of the energy that made it’s home on ‘Proper.’ It starts with this raucous crying out of “too fed up to ‘fess up/you lied to get results” that instantly begs you to sing along emphatically. It feels like a time capsule to when I would shamelessly listen to any pop punk band you threw at me, which was right around the time I found Into It Over It [and eventually The Front Bottoms]. It’s a song that technically isn’t even days old, but there’s something nostalgic about hearing Weiss with this kind of youthful energy without having to come across as kind of goofy.
There is no doubt that ‘Standards’ is going to be an influential record. Weiss really pushed himself forward with this release, combining aspects of each of his vastly different musical outlets to create what is inarguably the record of his career. There is a renewed sense of faith in this project that comes with a constant itch to listen to this album. ‘Standards’ is, without question, the album that Into It Over It will be remembered for.