Into It. Over It
Triple Crown Records
Release Date: March 11, 2016
Evan Weiss is emo's camp counselor. He's an elder statesman at this point who established himself with his band The Progress before deciding to go solo as Into It. Over It, but those are in no way his only contributions to the genre: he's been in a band with everyone.
Standards is his most fully formed collection of songs yet; he has the ability to effortlessly deliver earworms like "Vis Major" that bands like You Blew It! have been working their whole careers to produce. (No disrespect to the very kick-ass YBI!). Weiss can twinkle with the best of them, and he does: opener "Open Casket" is a deft open-tuned acoustic number that recalls Owen, but the next song, "Closing Argument," establishes a new tempo for the album. It opens with a quiet, barely accompanied vocal melody, but then the drums kick in, giving way to a tuneful full band number. The songs are well paced, churning and twinkling in turn. "No EQ" is high energy pop punk-powered by skittering drums, dropping down to showcase the guitar before surging ahead. The record slows down with the one-two of "Your Lasting Image" and "Old Lace and Ivory" and never quite regains its former energy, but the album never loses its hooky progressions and melodies.
The lyrics are what you’d expect, witty with a little bit of a sarcastic bite, returning frequently to aging and nostalgia. Weiss’s melodies, however, are a bit more memorable. His voice is reedy but confident, equal parts Mike Kinsella and Ben Gibbard. "Who You Are Does Not Equal Where You've Been" in particular uses crunchy riffs as a dynamic canvas for a memorable vocal performance. It's the whole emo package, and Standards will undoubtedly be enthusiastically received. It's always hard to tell, however, if a band of this ilk, no matter how good, will successfully cross over to other fan bases. IIOI is on tour with The World is a Beautiful Place, the Sidekicks, and Pinegrove--a wet dream for kids with Run for Cover Records t-shirts, but it's unlikely to draw new crowds.
This is an indictment of how "emo" is marketed and perceived, however, not of the music itself. It's a pitch-perfect record, distilling and encapsulating what's exciting about the genre, but not relying just the now-common tropes of the genre. Weiss is a gifted songwriter who deserves a wider audience than just those already defending pop punk. Although Standards may not be the record that does it for him, it's the record that deserves to do it for him.
Reviewed by Keegan 1340