Review Summary: You and I's first 7" is remarkable, diverse, and endless fascinating.
You and I could be ranked as one of the greatest hardcore bands to ever emerge from the New Jersey music scene. Their sound is unmatched by many other bands of their time. Influence from bands like Converge most definitely shows, however they manage to add their own unique style to the mix, which delivers a feral mess of "emo", though that is a touchy word to use.
The band's first 7" could definitely be considered their greatest release. Four tracks that mesh together perfectly. The opening track is entitled "Something to Remember". The tune opens on a quiet, mellow note. Then, it happens: The drumsticks click, and we are sent into a whirling dimension of rabid guitar chords, harsh lead vocals, and a somewhat repetitive drum pattern.
While some listeners may be pushed away after hearing only a portion of the first song, close listening will prove to you that You and I is no group of amateurs. They manage to lay down these tracks very well, with very few mistakes. It must be noted that, at times, the guitar work may become a bit monotonous. Even so, the band's diversity and tightly-knit sound manages to keep you listening.
You and I most certainly does not rely on ear-shredding feedback to sound "brutal" or "hardcore", however, they do incorporate noise into their music, and at precise moments, I may add. As the track "Something to Remember" comes to an end, the final scream fades, and we hear what appears to be shabby Marshall amps going into overdrive. Screeching feedback escapes the speakers viciously, until we hear the first line of "Hearts Divide": "I still feel you." With this, the band kicks back into their extreme cycle to finish off side A with this one-minute tune. For some reason, this song entwines with "Something to Remember" perfectly. On a quick note, side A ends abruptly.
Side B opens with "Silent Morning Whisper". Any true You and I fan knows the creative aspect of this song. The song opens with a short sound clip from the 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life. As the sound clip comes to a close, faint guitar fills in the somewhat empty background. The drums take their place, and we hear the lead vocalist's clear vocals chime in. With a heavy scream ("Burning..."), the song explodes into wreckless insanity. While the creative intro for the song helps give the song worth, it must be said: The song drags on a bit much. Even so, it is a decent listen.
The final track, "Seascape", is the greatest tune the record offers. Most emo-heads would likely agree. We hear a faint whisper: "I don't want to live forever, if you're not going to be with me." With that, a furious guitar chord strikes. As the sound gradually fades, we hear the iconic opening riffs, and the first line is screamed. The song stands out amongst the other tracks. After maintaining it's heavy yet diverse sound, it abruptly slows. This of course soon blasts into an uncontrolled chaos, which changes to a more orderly fray, with several of the members chiming together with creative, clean vocals. The song's finale is a well-organized yet somewhat messy craze of more clean vocals, and a very intricate guitar "solo". As the song ends, the guitars unleash a bit of feedback which gradually builds, and then fades to silence, only kept alive by the final seconds of analog static.
Many records from the late 90's hardcore scene are worth mentioning. Reversal of Man's first 7", Converge's "Petitioning the Empty Sky", and many others. However, there are very few albums from this era that rank with this 7". This is most definitely one of the predecessors of "emo".