In preparation for what was promised to be an excellent album, I took the time to listen to You Blew It!‘s past releases: Grow Up, Dude (2012), The Past In Present (2013), Keep Doing What You’re Doing (2014), Pioneer of Nothing (2015), You Blue It (2014), and Florida Doesn’t Suck (2013)–which is a split with Fake Problems–although not in that order. Each record has its own emotional tone, set by instrumentals and lyrics, and this new release is establishing its own.
Abendrot is only one aspect of the new beginning the band has paved for itself. The boys signed to Triple Crown Records in September, joining a long bill of talented artists after having been with similarly gifted bands on Topshelf Records for five out of the six releases listed above. Abendrot cements the change in direction that You Blew It! has made; packed with thought-provoking themes and gorgeous sound, it sets itself apart from the band’s previous records. Singer Tanner Jones has said that abendrot is a German word meaning “sunset” or “afterglows,” although there is no direct English equivalent, and the title paints a beautiful picture of what to expect from the album itself.
Starting with “Epaulette,” a slow song with gentle echoes and soft strums of guitar, Abendrot leads us by the hand into a sea of emotions. We begin to wade in the vulnerability that is “Like Myself,” which is comforting even in its despair. Delving further into the record, we smoothly transition into “Sundial Song,” which picks up the tempo and turns up the fuzz on the guitar for a nice, almost sultry sound. “Greenwood” brings delicate wisps of nostalgia and the instrumentals are very enjoyable, bringing out the light undertone running throughout. “Autotheology,” one of the tracks that was released ahead of the album, is a darker, brooding piece, rooted in Jones’ interpretation of the story of Job from the Bible. “Hue” almost takes you by surprise, its strength brimming in Jones’ vocals and long notes in the guitar, accompanied by the steady clicking of drum sticks. The mood set by “Hue” continues into “Canary,” a song reminiscent of Keep Doing What You’re Doing without some of the harder elements, sweet and lovely in its soft strength.
“Forecasting” hooks you with a cloud of hazy sound and feelings before diving headfirst into a forceful repetition of “Oh resistance! I can make this work!” It then transitions into the moody grittiness that is “Minorwye,” a track with a bit more edge and an almost seductive quality to its sound, especially in Jones’ vocals. That edgy sound gives way to “Arrowhead,” which immediately defines itself with the reverb in the intro, an even tempo established by the drums, and a dreamy mood set by the guitar lines that builds in volume and energy in a powerful crescendo. The record then takes a turn with “Basin & Range,” an upbeat track with the same delicate guitar lines heard throughout, but a definite punch that is not found in some of the other songs. The album finishes with “Kerning,” a beautiful song accented with dainty piano notes. Although brief, it is full of depth and artistry, a perfectly short and sweet ending to a record that deserves as many listens as it takes for everything to fully sink in and then more to savor the exquisite sound.
Favorite tracks include “Like Myself,” “Greenwood,” “Canary,” “Minorwye,” “Arrowhead,” and “Kerning.”
Twelve songs of pure top-notch emo revival goodness, Abendrot is certainly not like You Blew It!’s previous releases, which is a good thing in this case. The title is fitting for the transition they are making into this particular stage of their lives and careers. Here’s to the band as they move forward in this new direction, and here’s to Abendrot.
Connect w/ You Blew It!: