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With ‘Keep Doing What You’re Doing’, You Blew It! are asking nicely for a turn at the reigns of the hastily revived emo scene, fleshed out by darlings like Into It Over It and The World Is A Beautiful Place. Also hailing as the aforementioned have, from self-proclaimed coordinators of our beloved emo resurgence – Topshelf Records – You Blew It! are in safe hands with their newest release. With a nauseous, analytical sense of reality and an extremely cautious optimism, Keep Doing What You’re Doing shapes up to be a considerably forthright and confident effort, while not blowing any expectations out of the water.
Charging like a horse from the gate, ‘Match and Tinder,’ features an audaciously energetic and repetitive base line bold enough to support the somewhat shouty, floundering vocals of the lead, who wears the hoarse yowl of the tortured punk singer like a perfect fit.
In ‘Award Of The Year Award,’ and later in ‘Rock Springs,’ You Blew It! opt for opening riffs that err on the side of punk mainstream for the most part, ushering in memories of the days when everybody loved Jimmy Eat World and nobody lied. ‘You can always consider me a friend, just maybe in the past tense’ just about sums of how passive aggressive this record really is. Not to underestimate the power of being cautious, songs like these are confident without being obnoxious, and while something undeniably punk is lacking, You Blew It! seem comfortable being understated.
Before you go thinking that resolutions have been made in the direction of the less mopey, You Blew It! hand us the self depreciating, melancholy, ‘Strong Island’, which borrows from the grungy side of emo to deliver to us lyrics like, ‘I’m still pieces of me that I could live without’ and ‘I’m still clutching to things I should have said.’ All the while, ‘Regional Dialect’, reconciles on riffs and chord progressions that are safe and timid, preferring, much like a lot of the record, to rest nonchalantly in a sea of indistinctiveness rather than to stand out.
There’s one thing that this record should be commended for and it’s the power of the lyrical simplicity. The best of the band’s lyrics (‘I’ve always felt fine singing in your basement,’) are intricately personal but also somehow relatable to the point where their stories are yours also. In ‘A Different Kind Of Kindling’ (‘the only thing that stays the same is the way you never change’) and in ‘You & Me & Me’ particularly, You Blew It! prove they know what it is to settle for your lot in life, and to make the most of the little things, and what it feels like to struggle just to be happy.
‘Keep Doing What You’re Doing’ is decidedly apathetic. If you’re surprised, then you shouldn’t be. The band’s passive aggressive indie punk melodies and glaringly obvious emo song writing are just bookends for yet more of the kind of regretful musings and retrospective self- analysis that we’re spoiled for with the long awaited prophesied emo revivial finally here. Having said this, You Blew It! exude a kind of genuine confidence that makes this record, not only bearable, but significant.
1.Match & Tinder
2. Award of the Year Award
3. Strong Island
4. Regional Dialect
5. House Address
6. A Different Kind of Kindling
7. Rock Springs
8. You & Me & Me
9. Gray Matter
10. Better to Best