Release Date: Mar 11, 2016
Record label: Triple Crown Records
Thanks to Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago, the cabin-in-the-woods album is becoming a rock ‘n’ roll cliche, overblown in its mythology and predictable in its result. Justin Vernon would probably tell you the same thing. It’s not that Emma isn’t a great album (it is), but even with its vocal mutations, it sounds exactly like you think it would: a guy holed up during a rural Wisconsin winter, surrounded by nature, illness, and heartbreak.
Standards is definitely a major step forward, and a fearless one that at, for IIOI but one I'm not surprised with.Â.
Written in an isolated cabin in Vermont and recorded onto tape at John Vanderslice's Tiny Telephone studio, Into It. Over It.'s 2016 album, Standards, was the most challenging work that the band's Evan Weiss had yet to undertake. Since 2007, he'd been making the kind of emo that nods to pop, but whose main focus was expressing the raging emotions tossing to and fro within his soul.
The speed with which Evan Weiss produces new music often obscures the quality and care that goes into those compositions. The clinical precision of Intersections, his second LP as Into It. Over It., underlined that point, and its followup, Standards, marries the nuance of its predecessor with the off-the-cuff feel of Weiss's work with side-projects Pet Symmetry and Their/They're/There.Written in a Vermont cabin with drummer Josh Sparks and recorded with producer John Vanderslice (Spoon, the Mountain Goats), the record shows off the breadth and depth of Weiss's talents both as a player and songwriter.
“I understand now that you can’t go from a record that has a chorus on every song [Proper], and then deliver a follow-up that has two choruses on the whole thing [Intersections] and expect people to warm to it immediately,” Into It. Over It. ingénieur Evan Weiss told us in January. “I think every song on the new one has a chorus.” That “new one” — called Standards, coming this week — is the third full-length from the outfit, which is essentially just Weiss and his touring band, though new drummer Josh Sparks played a big role in the LP’s initial ideation.
Standards is Evan Weiss’s first Into It. Over It. album since he turned 30, the kind of milestone that throws some songwriters into crisis. It seems like it would be an especially hard transition for a guy whose very band name telegraphs his obsession with ephemerality, but to judge by these songs he’s doing fine, more or less.
IF I WERE TASKED with convincing a person to listen to Standards, the new record from Chicago’s Into It. Over It., I’d pick its fourth track, “Vis Major”, as my entry point (the album’s lead single is “No EQ”, so what the hell do I know?). It’s the record’s most straightforward song, the most easily quantified. Its beats will be recognizable to anyone with a passing familiarity to the emo music of the last decade; call-and-response vocals, crashing drums that drive the song, dynamic finger-tap guitars, detailed but non-specific lyrics delivered with sensitivity, held a little longer than they naturally would be.
It's that time again when writers Juan and Carl go through their previous month's custom playlists in search of a handful of albums that deserve your attention. After being a bit tough with some of last month's notable electronic offerings, it's curious to see that Juan's two highest scores out of ….