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Monday, July 30, 2012

Music Review: Into It. Over It.

Artist name: Into It. Over It.

Album name: Proper (2011, No Sleep Records)

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Proper is cleverly titled, as it is the first proper full-length album from Into It. Over It., the brainchild of Evan Weiss. Weiss, who previously spent his time releasing the ambitious 52 Weeks, one song a week for a year, and the Twelve Towns series of 7”'s, is a bit of a departure from the typical boy with his acoustic guitar type songs you’d expect from a solo project. With Proper, Evan has created an album that would fit well next to Piebald in a record collection. Proper stands out from Piebald records though. Complete with distorted vocals, Proper starts out with the song “Embracing Facts”, which is rather gritty and dark, and stands out in a great way on this record. “Discretion and Depressing People”, a nod to Evan’s side project Stay Ahead of the Weather, would make sense playing on your iPod (or iPhone or iSomething) right before “American Hearts” or “Long Nights," but with lyrics more along the lines of Taking Back Sunday circa 2002 (you know, the good stuff). “No Good Before Noon” is the first of two acoustic tracks on the record, and it finds Evan lamenting that he’s “not built for nine-to-fives." It’s a rather amazing honesty that he shows that also helps to explain why he’s been such a prolific songwriter and touring musician since busting onto the scene. “Midnight: Carroll Street” is a bit more of a somber track, finding Evan working out his anxiety and dealing with lies and deception from those he chose to surround himself with. It fits more along the lines of “Embracing Facts," feeling a little darker and grittier than most of the album. “P R O P E R," the title track, is easily one of the more musically upbeat tracks on the record, ending with a repeating “whoa-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh”. The last track on the record is the other acoustic one, “The Frames that Used to Greet Me”, a rather touching lament about seeing a former lover out and about and realizing that they still think about you. It’s a touching end to an incredible proper debut. Most of the record seems to fit in with bands like Piebald, Death Cab for Cutie and Taking Back Sunday, with some slight differences. The record has a similar risk-taking feel to it as most of the records from those three bands did. While some of the songs fail to stick out, the ones that do (particularly “Discretion and Depressing People”, “Midnight: Carroll Street”, and “P R O P E R”) are easily some of the best tracks Evan has ever written.

Sounds Like: Piebald, Death Cab for Cutie, Taking Back Sunday

Stand-outs: “Discretion and Depressing People”, “Midnight: Carroll Street”, “P R O P E R”, “The Frames that Used to Greet Me”

p.s. Check out his side project Stay Ahead of the Weather, especially “Impressions and Impressing People”. Love that Jawbreaker reference.

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