Key Track: “Surf Wax America”
The never-ending and ultimately inane debate about Weezer’s place in 90’s emo has been revived again, with Weezer’s influence on hybrid emo/pop-punk seen heavily in the past few years. So it only makes sense for a band like You Blew It! to do a series of Weezer covers. The band, right on the heels of their excellent sophomore album “Keep Doing What You’re Doing,” embody Weezer’s amped-up style of lovable-but-lonely fuzz-rock. The five songs they cover, all from Weezer’s legendary debut, are less covers and more progressions, showing how much Weezer really has influenced today’s emo.
The purpose of this EP wasn’t notoriety, the band stayed away from the Blue Album’s most recognizable songs – “Buddy Holly,” “Say It Ain’t So,” and “Undone” – in favor for some deeper cuts. “My Name is Jonas” and “Surf Wax America” are still recognized songs, but less so, and “In the Garage,” “Only In Dreams” and B-side “Susanne” are still somehow deep cuts. You Blew It! keep the songs mostly intact, preserving their integrity instead of flashing them up in any way.
“In the Garage” kicks the EP off, and it actually lacks the energy that the original boasts, as the band takes a more lackluster approach – either a reflection of emo’s slow draining of energy, or just a build up into the more accurate cover of “My Name is Jonas.” They keep the song almost as it is originally, as they probably should, adding only some reverb at the end.
“Only In Dreams” gets drastically shortened and moved to the midpoint, although it still serves as the longest song (as did the original version). “Surf Wax America” is probably the EP’s best song, with the band changing up the opening riff into a more emo-friendly rhythm before launching into a cover with just as much energy and guitar as the original. “Susanne,” meanwhile, is presented as a low-key acoustic track with a more lo-fi sound.
You Blew It!’s adherence to Weezer’s original, largely simple songs is reflective of a band honoring their influences instead of trying to overcome them. Weezer’s Blue Album has stood against time – we’re all still listening to it like it’s our first time. The Blue Album, whether Weezer was trying to or not, laid a template for pop-punk today, and You Blew It! is just the band to watch their throne. “You Blue It” is more about reflecting the progress of emo than it is about either band, showing how it’s evolved in form, and how it hasn’t really actually evolved at all. These are five reliable homages, as one band in their prime honors another from theirs.
-By Andrew McNally