Review Summary: Now this is what I call fun music.
Imagine a scenario in which Max Bemis and Brendan Urie have a child together. They nurture and support him, until one day he approaches his fathers and asks, “Daddies, how do I make good music?” Now this child (whose name is Ben Liebsch) gets the answer you would expect from the frontman of Panic! At the Disco. “Son, you need to make your music sound as catchy and confident as possible.” Then, Max chimes in, “And it doesn’t hurt to sound like a conceited douche; self awareness and sex jokes will be what separates you from ***ty bands like…(awkward pause, shoots a tender look over at Brendan
)…well, you know…” Little Ben takes this advice to heart, and as he grows up and surrounds himself with bandmates, you can see all of these characteristics coming into fruition. That is what You, Me, and Everyone We Know’s Some Things Don’t Wash Out
You, Me, and Everyone We Know is self-described as being a cross between indie, rock, and power-pop. Their influences include the two aforementioned bands along with Joe Cocker, Andrew W.K., and He Is Legend. As you will find on Some Things Don’t Wash Out
, this makes for a fast-paced, fun, and catchy sound. The vocal similarities of Liebsch to both Urie and Bemis come out in bursts, with the showtune-like aspects of Liebsch’s voice drawing comparisons to Urie’s on A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out
, while the gang vocals and half sung/half talked lyrics remind many of Say Anything’s Max Bemis. I place such an emphasis on Ben Liebsch because he is really what makes this album work. Throughout the record, he portrays something of an underdog attitude, singing about his struggles, concerns, and plans to overcome them. The nature of the lyrics is fueled by his narcisism, helping to make the music humorous
instead of depressing and relatable
as opposed to boring.
Instrumentally, You, Me, and Everyone We Know’s influence is not derived from any particular band, but that doesn’t make it groundbreaking either. For all intents and purposes, it is just simple, upbeat music to provide a fitting atmosphere for the sarcastic, carefree vocals. The opening song, “Shock and Awe” is both a prime example and a standout moment, with groovy guitars and bluesy vocals that would make it nearly impossible not to get hooked into the album. “I’m Losing Weight For You” is a light, bouncy one and a half minutes of fast power-pop chords and silly lyrics that really accentuate what this album is all about. The band does, however, branch out more than one might expect. The jazz-influenced, brass heavy “James Brown is Dead” sees them explore an orchestral side to their music. “A Little Bit More” is a song introduced by prolonged whistling, earning it status as one of the band’s most unique songs. The wonderful thing about moments like these is it doesn’t seem like they are trying
to experiment; instead, it seems to just happen
because they are having so much fun making music. That is a refreshing feeling for the listener – to hear a band enjoying what they do so much that they naturally want try new things – just for the hell of it. The constantly changing tempos and song structures once again serve to anchor the band’s identity as one that is angsty but loose, and up for just about anything. Instrumental/musical spontenaity proves to be equally important on Some Things Don’t Wash Out
as Ben Liebsch’s voice, and the combination? Well it proves to be the single best thing in pop-punk since …Is a Real Boy
Prepare to hear more and more about You, Me, and Everyone We Know in the coming years. After their debut Party for the Grown and Sexy
laid the foundation, Some Things Don’t Wash Out
sees the band pursuing that direction to a further extent, at times even mastering it. The similarities to Brendan Urie and especially Max Bemis make for some interesting comparisons, but this is by no means a copycat band; and the material they have produced for Some Things Don’t Wash Out
is nothing short of triumphant. This is a bold, fun, and funny
album that is worth a look from anyone who enjoys pop, punk, indie, rock, or any fusion of those four genres. Do it now, because tomorrow you, me, and everyone we know will probably be talking about them.