Review: You Blew It!, ‘Pioneer Of Nothing’
Written By: Mike Moger
A pioneer of nothing, I’m waiting around for something. You Blew It! has been waiting since 2009 to arrive at the forefront of the emo genre, and between their last 3 releases of their second LP, a Weezer cover EP, and this new EP (all of which have come out in the last calendar year), it’s finally time for the Floridian twinkle-daddies to be recognized. The progression between every new work of music is palpable and their lyrics are among the most honest and heartbreaking I’ve had the pleasure to listen to over flawless guitar and rhythm parts. They’re also 5 of the nicest and funniest dudes ever, just check out their Tumblr ask – they’ll answer just about anything – and every answer is funnier than the last.
The pinnacle of 90s emo, to most in the know, is a little label called Jade Tree Records. Based in Delaware with a heavy heart and open tunings on their sleeves, JT running list of bands includes: Cap’n Jazz, The Promise Ring, Jets to Brazil, and Texas is the Reason. Now you can add one of (if not the) best emo bands on the circuit to that list: You Blew It!. Congrats to these guys, and while I do hope they remain on Topshelf’s roster for their next few releases, it’s a sign in the right direction for a band that deserves way more credit than they’re given.
“Lanai” starts off in typical emo fashion similar to “Better to Best” from KDWYD, with no lyrics until about the 50-second mark. I’m still unsure of who contributed guest vocals in the second verse, but they’re a nice touch, adding a lower register than Tanner to the mix. From my initial impressions of this song, I recognized a younger version of the band, a hint at ‘Past in Present’. Stylistically this new EP is similar to their very first EP, with vastly improved vocals this time around. Whether this was intentional or not, it certainly got me excited to listen for other notions to past songs.
Next is “Bedside Manor”, a cleverly-titled catharsis that pays homage to “Medal of Honor’s” lyrics How did I end up bedside wondering what you meant by “the end?”. My personal favorite of the trio of songs, I love the slow pace of the drowned out guitar that slugs along until eventually it all explodes into a wonderfully vibrant chorus.
To end the EP is a track on which YBI aren’t afraid of addressing their (much) softer side: “Your Side,” an interesting amalgamation of “A Different Kind of Kindling” and “The Fifties.” In it, Tanner takes center stage once again, but is accompanied by a heavily faded out distorted guitar and some eery cymbal work. You can almost sense the tension in the song, it’s brilliantly done in a way that shows off the exact emotions that went into composing it.
The harmonies are crisper, the guitars are fuller, and the production quality is minter, as if you could taste the progression as ‘Pioneer of Nothing’ spins along. Speaking of, I’m quite excited to receive my 7” vinyl – the /250 color in color opaque red and yellow variant. The boys in You Blew It! clearly know what they’re doing and should keep doing it (:p). But seriously, I truly believe that some of the most talented songwriters exist in this band and it really shines through when given the freedom of an amazing label. During the split/EP with Fake Problems release they were already looking ahead to a full length, so I have very high hopes for LP3.
I’m really looking forward to seeing them again in Cambridge, MA at the Middle East, last time it was an absolute riot (you can read my show review over here). That was the show where Tanner knew Modern Baseball would be the biggest band in the world, and it’s starting to show. I really hope You Blew It! gets the same treatment soon, they deserve to be much bigger than they already are – have I said that enough?! Geeze, more people need to know this band.
‘Pioneer of Nothing’ is a fantastic piece of art from a truly honest and hardworking band. It hinges on the nostalgia of their roots and plays with motifs of lyrical and musical content, but also progresses and takes its own form with fresh ideas. Let the emo takeover of 2014 continue until the end of history or at least as long as YBI still exists as a band. 4.5/5
RIYL: Midwestern 90’s emo, Weezer
Definitely check out: the whole EP, it’s amazing
Shameless plug of lesser-known bands who sound similar: Marietta