You, Me, and Everyone We Know - Party for the Grown and Sexy
Record Label: None
Release Date: 2006, 2007 (re-release)
Many of us have downloaded music from the internet. Some of us have paid for it, and some have not. Record sales are at all time lows, and things are getting worse. More people plug into Myspace and iTunes than visit their local record stores. Some artists attempt to counteract the plummeting music industry by releasing fully digital albums. CD free is the trend of our 21st century. I can’t recall the last time I saw a Sony Discman being toted around by a student on campus, but we all happily plug in our iPod every morning to shake the sleep on the way to class. It is truly a digital world out there. You, Me, and Everyone We Know’s debut EP, Party for the Grown and Sexy is just that, a digital venture. Originally released in 2006, the EP had new life breathed into it when it was re-mastered and offered as a free download on the popular music site AbsolutePunk.net. In digital form this EP has the potential to reach more people than a bulky compact disc being hauled around the country in the back of a van. Online presence, combined with indie heavyweight managers Richard and Stefanie Reines, put You, Me, and Everyone We Know in a position of huge potential.
The record kicks off with “Do It Again,” a punchy opening. Contrasting jazz inspired drumbeats and pop vocals, this first track promises a record that is raucous, witty, and above all, energetic. Singer Ben Liebsch’s impressive tenor channels the work of pop punk contemporaries Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy and Max Bemis of Say Anything. Although You, Me, and Everyone We Know’s repertoire of songs doesn’t stray too far from either of these artists, it does offer a decisively fresh take on a sometimes tired genre. Upon listening to Party for the Grown and Sexy it becomes clear this is a band that really that enjoys what they do and makes no apologies for their songs. The EP continues with one of my favorite songs, “Livin’ th’ Dream.” The opening lyrics recount some of the milestones of a young twenty something: high School reunions, debt, and growing outside attention as part of an up and coming band. Liebsch sings, “Yesterday I turned 23 / The date didn’t mean that much to me / Then I started adding figures up in my head / It seems the cost of dreaming's left me in the red / Because of alcohol I’ve shared sixteen beds / There’s a five year reunion hanging over my head / At least 11,000 people think I’m something I’m not,” a testament to the uneasy times between adolescence and adulthood.
Other stand out tracks include “Dirty Laundry” with its staccato guitar chords complimenting Liebsch’s crooning vocals and “Carolina Heat,” a breathy ballad that crescendos into a decidedly rock song. Cheeky lyrics include, “They say the Carolina heat isn’t something that keeping a cool head can beat / But don't discount their winter winds and all the cold shoulders that the slightest draft lets in.” They beg to make their way into the away message boxes of teens across the country.
Party for the Grown and Sexy won’t change the way you think about music or turn a genre on its side, but it is a beacon that proves there are still bands that really enjoy the music they create. Unapologetic, wry, and above all enthusiastic, You, Me, and Everyone We Know are sure to go on to big things. Currently unsigned, they stand in an extraordinary position. With upcoming sets at indie festivals South by Southwest and Bamboozle, it is only a matter of time before we hear much more from this band. In an age dominated by your web browser, You, Me, and Everyone We Know’s music shines just as brightly as megabytes in your hard drive or a CD in your stereo.