You Blew It!
Keep Doing What You’re Doing


3.5
great

Review

by Richard Craig USER (120 Reviews)
January 10th, 2014 | 110 replies


Release Date: 01/14/2014 | Tracklist


You Blew It!’s second album could hardly be more aptly titled. ‘Keep Doing What You’re Doing’ doesn’t reinvent the wheel for contemporary emo, nor does it have to: You Blew It! execute their own jangly, softly-shouted style of noughties emo adroitly. The Floridians marry indie, pop-punk and Kinsella-esque Midwestern emo with admirable fluidity while musically framing lyrical phrases destined for tumblr posts and sweaty, smiling sing-a-longs. Additionally, ‘Keep Doing What You’re Doing’ exudes the positivity its title hints at. Collectively, the upbeat, major-key songs that comprise the album combine to form a 35-minute serotonin rush. Lyrically, Tanner Jones gleans positivity from interpersonal cynicism and derisive bitterness, culminating in the purgative repetition of “Maybe this time it couldn’t hurt to be happy/Maybe things aren’t quite as bad as I let myself believe”.

The progression from their 2012 effort, ‘Grow Up, Dude’ is easily traceable, as are the similarities to modern bands such as Snowing and Algernon Cadwallader. You Blew It! glide between more introspective, meditative sections and irrepressible flurries of action. Dazzling, battling guitar leads still find a home here – see ‘Regional Dialect’ and ‘You & Me & Me’ – but this feels more grounded, chord-focussed (whisper it, more mature). They clearly still have one foot in the more intimate environments they have been playing for years – on ‘House Address’, Jones sings, “I always felt fine singing in your basement”. Still, You Blew It! are at a critical juncture in their career where more people are starting to take notice and they are being opened up to a larger audience – ‘Keep Doing What You’re Doing’ was even streamed on Pitchfork advance. They are well prepared, however: tellingly, this simply sounds bigger than anything they have done before. Chalk it up to greater production values (the razor-sharp guitar leads and the beefed-up sound) or their apparent greater ambition and clarity of vision (album closer ‘Better to Best’s wide-scope, masterfully-paced structure and mature conceptualisation stemming from its aforementioned conflict resolution), but this just sounds like prior releases only with one eye on bigger leagues.

The ambition displayed on ‘Keep Doing What You’re Doing’ ties in nicely with the brightness and buoyancy that pervade the album. Despite the scatter-brained vitriol that intermittently surfaces – “You can always consider me a friend/ Just strictly in the past tense”, from the moodily swaggering ‘Award of the Year Award’ – there is a very tangible sense of cathartic optimism on ‘Keep Doing What You’re Doing’. Opener ‘Match & Tinder’ may not explode with the force its name suggests, but it does burn with an electric energy and effusive joie de vivre. You Blew It! largely keep up the positivity from here on out as their fresh-of-breath-air chord progressions combined with the starry-eyed leads form a bright sonic pallet that is difficult to resist.

All this is not to say the album is without its faults though. The ill-fitting, cringingly awkward solo vocals that usher in ‘A Different Kind of Kindling’ feel superfluous. The faintly hushed, understated ‘Strong Island’ simply doesn’t hit as hard as you might like it to. It could also be argued that the homophonic nature of tracks is a weakness (a tendency for tracks to blur, a slight lack of differentiation) rather than a strength. Still, that You Blew It! get it wrong is commendable for at least they have the courage to risk failure. And besides, if they’re persistent enough their next record might be flawless.



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user ratings (125)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Crawl
January 10th 2014


1619 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Grow Up Dude > this

still a decent album

Pheromone
January 10th 2014


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

jamming it for the second time now, pretty good

Digging: Doves - Lost Souls

ShitsofRain
January 10th 2014


5897 Comments


nothing new here

Digging: Anthony Shakir - Frictionalism 1994-2009

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 10th 2014


50396 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hey let's slow all our songs down by half, take out the cool twinkle riffs and write really shitty lyrics for our second album

Digging: Viper the Rapper - You'll Cowards Don't Even Smoke Crack

SeaAnemone
January 10th 2014


20322 Comments


as much as I liked You Blew It, Dude I don't think I'll even check this out
band very clearly only had one album's worth of decent material, as is the case with nearly every band of this style for some reason

Digging: Holy Sons - Lost Decade II

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 10th 2014


50396 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Wow we just discovered Jawbreaker! Let's abandon our sound and completely rip them off

SeaAnemone
January 10th 2014


20322 Comments


wait this is a jawbreaker ripoff? totally reconsidering my previous statement...
90% of jawbreaker ripoffs are awesome, and I haven't heard many that I like less than jawbreaker (who are ok)

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 10th 2014


50396 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The songs that rip them off the hardest are actually the best

but when the singer tries to use his nice boy voice it's just dreadful

also Have Mercy did it way better

pmmets07
January 10th 2014


5877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good album but man the lyrics suck. like does the dude have any friends? it sounds like he has a
problem with everyone.

SeaAnemone
January 10th 2014


20322 Comments


oh I really like this re: first song

ihopeuchoke
January 10th 2014


668 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"like does the dude have any friends? it sounds like he has a
problem with everyone."

Story of my life...

Athom
Staff Reviewer
January 10th 2014


17213 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

I get a massive Look Mexico vibe from the guitar work, only it's really sloppy where Look Mexico play
everything neat and clean. It's a lot of the same chords and fills. It even creeps in to the melodies.
It's not really my thing but there are parts of this that are cool. At the same time though, this rips
the worst moments from Saves The Day's first two records as far as song structure and hooks go and
it's too blatant to overlook.

Digging: Inigo Kennedy - Vaudeville

SeaAnemone
January 10th 2014


20322 Comments


you don't get northstar ripoff vibes from this, adam?
there's actually a reference to them in gray matter

Athom
Staff Reviewer
January 10th 2014


17213 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

Parts of it sound a bit like Is This Thing Loaded? but I think that's just that whole lazy and disheveled vibe more than anything tangible. But I see where you're going with it, as I've always thought of You Blew It! in the same boat as IIOI where it's pop punk augmented with just a hint of that throwback mid-90's emo aesthetic to try to give it a bit of integrity and honesty when compared to something slick and saccharine like (insert whatever andcas listens to).

sniper
January 10th 2014


19050 Comments


no me gusta esta banda

Athom
Staff Reviewer
January 10th 2014


17213 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

Also, I really don't get the Jawbreaker comparison outside of the vocals and that's really only a slight comparison to Dear You. I think you're shooting in the dark on that one.

SeaAnemone
January 10th 2014


20322 Comments


hey I didn't compare them to Jawbreaker if you're still talking to me
after listening to this: it starts pretty good but this is a bad album with a few decent songs; as opposed to their last, a decent album with a few bad songs
can totally see why people don't like this band though

Athom
Staff Reviewer
January 10th 2014


17213 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

I'm just combining two conversations into one haha. Their last one I listened to sparingly but it hit the spot when I wanted to listen to something that was like Through Being Cool but a little less direct. This entire style of music isn't cutting it for me anymore as far as new stuff goes. The bands only evolve inward or not at all, and since they're only culling from like 5 or 6 main influences that all sound relatively similar in the first place, it's really gone from a boom to a bust in a few quick years.

StallionMang
January 10th 2014


5642 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah this grew off pretty quickly, my main gripe is that their style on this one is pretty bland and uninteresting compared to their style on GUD. Unfortunately it's probably due to the production by Evan Weiss of Into It. Over It. (who I find to be pretty bland and uninteresting themselves)

Digging: The Antlers - In the Attic of the Universe

Athom
Staff Reviewer
January 10th 2014


17213 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

IIOI live is one of the coolest things ever, but on record so much is lost. I'm conflicted as all hell. The only album that falls under the non-skram side of the over arching "emo revival" blanket that I've really liked in the last year or so was the latest Nai Harvest record because it was like a better version of both TWIABP and Dads.



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