You, Me & Everyone We Know - Some Things Don't Wash Out
Record Label: Doghouse Records
Release Date: Oct. 12, 2010
Wit is an interesting thing. In a lot of situations, it’s going to make you the center of attention. In some others, it could possibly make you seem annoying or unprofessional. In the music industry, it’s something that I personally think listeners could use more of. In a country with a downtrodden economy, on a planet with just over two years left, constantly hearing about morbid topics gets a bit depressingly repetitive. That’s why I love bands with uplifting, positive, and most of all, witty lyrics.
You, Me, & Everyone We Know has this aspect down to a science. Whether lead singer Ben Liebsch is talking about sitting on the couch downing chips, comparing the average human’s amount of soul to James Brown, or dreading his high school reunion, he does it with the perfect combination of style and hilarity, and along with his seemingly ever-changing band lineup, he makes you want to drop what you’re doing and focus on listening to this album. Having been unsigned for most of their existence, getting signed to Doghouse Records has given You, Me, & Everyone We Know a reason to be happy and the listeners a reason to smile, laugh, and constantly sing along.
Now, the witty lyrics are one of the only aspects in which this group ‘plays it safe.’ Save for the occasional gang vocals, the band’s first full length Some Things Don’t Wash Out goes very outside of the box, and opening mini-track duo ‘Shock And Awe’ & ‘I’m Losing Weight For You’ are very fitting. ‘I was lost for a while, I was knee-deep in denial,’ opening the album gives the listener a very good idea of the thematic elements yet to come. Leading perfectly into revamped (for the much, much better) fan favorite ‘Livin’ Th’ Dream,’ Some Things is three for three.
The album goes through a number of fantastic tunes, ‘Bigger Point of Pride,’ ‘Bootstraps,’ which follows a person trying to get better with their back against the wall, and the title track, which follows the same points. It isn’t until ‘James Brown Is Dead’ that the group really hits a “rough spot.” While the chorus is very funny lyrically, the song becomes repetitive, loses replay value, and it made me wonder its worth in the flow of the album as a whole. Luckily, the band immediately picks back up immediately with the honest, sole “downer” track on the album, ‘The Next 20 Minutes.’ Surely, Liebsch knows ending a relationship won’t be easy (‘This will hurt, a point that I must stress’), but he’s also aware that women are comparable to city buses, leaving as sure as another will come.
Tackling many tough issues with finesse and humor, Some Things Don’t Wash Out is far and away the band’s best release to date, and is easily unrivaled musically. Similar to a teenager getting their driver’s license and never wanting to get out of the car, it seems the group recently discovered the trumpet and trombone, and wanted it in every single song on the album. Let me tell you right now, this is not a bad thing in anyway. What a breath of fresh air it is to be expecting a guitar riff and rather receive an ascending trumpet arpeggio! As a marching band geek (no shame), I’m a sucker for horn playing sextuplets, and I’m happy I got what I wanted.
Infectious, bouncy, all over the place, this album is a lot of things, but it’s first and foremost the best pop-rock release of the year, and there are a few choice bands left to release albums this year, and to them I say: the bar has been set…high. With the low points nearly non-existant, Some Things Don’t Wash Out is the perfect album to make bad times seem good, and good times seem better. I expect this to see huge play counts in my iTunes and last.fm accounts for the time being, and getting to watch this band grow and hone their skills so well over the last few years has been a great experience. Two EP’s and a full-length in, it goes to show that some things really don’t wash out, and one of them is this band’s talent. Also, wine.