Evan Thomas Weiss’ Into It. Over It. project is considered one of the leading acts of the “emo revival.” 2013’s Intersections saw Weiss at a forefront of a genre thought to be stuck in 2005, and in a sense revolutionising it. Now, the Chicago-based singer is back with his third studio release, Standards.
Opening with the Eulogy-like Open Casket, the ties that bound Weiss to the genre that is so often hated are present once again. Acting somewhat as a Eulogy, the opener visits Weiss’ hometown friends – who in his own words – are a wreck. The somber tones of the opener also allow Weiss to pick at himself, and an inspiration-less life.
Following Open Casket, the rattling chords from Weiss’ acoustic guitar are left behind as the enticing keys of Closing Argument bleed into a rousing full-band performance. Whilst Into It. Over It. has never been a project that solely relies on Weiss’ acoustic, it’s here where the power of a full band becomes prevalent. The echoing drums lend themselves excellently to the American Football inspired guitars, creating something both refreshing for IIOI yet also familiar to the genre.
With the album in full flow No EQ continues the almost flawless start. Again the full band sound works wonders, as the opening guitar creates a somewhat melancholic vibe, before the percussion comes in as a complete contrast. Based off The Progress’ reunion shows, Weiss gives off a somewhat nostalgic sense of what if with No EQ: “Leveled up and laying down our nostalgia’s been strewn around, on the concrete beside your house.”
If there’s one thing that’s noticeable about the early parts of the record, then it’s the flow. Everything blends together perfectly, whether it be an acoustic track or full band. That remains the case with Vis Major, as Weiss bursts into it seamlessly from No EQ. Unfortunately the momentum of the record can’t keep up, as towards the middle things become somewhat lethargic. There are the odd moments of brilliance, similar to the open barrage of tracks, but apart from the intriguing Adult Contempt and Bible Black – one of several dives into religion on the record – it’s all very run of the mill.
Standards carries on in much the same vain from there on out, as nothing really captures attention like the opening flurry of track. Despite the record becoming a little too familiar, closer The Circle of the Same Ideas proves a solid ending to a record that is impressive at points and tiring at others.
Standout Tracks: Open Casket, No EQ, The Circle of the Same Ideas
For Fans Of: Tigers Jaw, American Football, Heart of Oak
Written by Daniel Rourke