Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Wonder Years - Suburbia I've Given You All and Now I'm Nothing

God, there was so much fucking anticipation on this album. At least three times a day I would jump on my netbook and check album leak websites and just praying that Suburbia would be listed. I've just needed it to come out so badly...and once it finally came out, it did not let me down.

A lot of people seem to not like The Wonder Years, but a lot of people also like to watch Two and a Half Men. So, you can really only trust people's opinions as far as you can throw the person who had the opinion. So, I guess you can't really trust me, because I'm a big dude, but you could trust a baby pretty easily. I don't really think any babies are plotting to back-stab you, but to be fair-neither am I. The point I'm laboriously trying to reach is that people talk shit because talking shit is fun for them to do. But what the fuck are they releasing this year? Two shits a day? Fucking congrats.


I really can't fucking believe I've been blessed with the ability to listen to this album for the past 24 hours. I feel like things might be okay for a little while. I've been hearing a lot from people that it's just going to be some sort of Upsides rip off. Then I listen to it, and realize that it's not at all. There are a couple of songs that continue a theme from a song released on The Upsides...but that's a completely fucking normal thing for a band to do. Considering I've heard this stated by a guy who listened to Streetlight was pretty funny. If you've listened to SM, then you know what I mean as far as they haven't written a legitimately new song since 2003.

Regardless, Suburbia is an album full of new songs and new lyrics and new ideas and new vocals. Soupy sings with the same conviction and power as he had when hitting the first line on "New Years With Carl Weathers" off the Upsides. There's this ultra-evident growth in his vocal prowess from the first release to this release, and it's pretty awesome to be able to check in at various times in the band's history and hear what he sounded like and where he was in life. I think it was the moment that Soupy realized he should be writing lyrics about exactly what's going on in his life that the shit really took off. I mean, the fun songs on GSOI were pretty rad, but I'm pretty sure nobody will remember the bit about the Kool-Aid man cutting off Captain Crunch's head as much as they'll remember that time Soupy shaved his beard. And that's just how it goes. People like being able to related to's just how pop punk kids are. Blame Descendents or something


The album kicks off with "Came Out Swinging", which unfortunately is not a Weird Al type parody of an Offspring song, rather it's a song that starts off this story-like album. It's not a story as in like...The Hobbit. It doesn't have a logical beginning and conclusion and whatnot. It's like the middle book of an extensive series. There's a lot of loose ends on both sides, but a lot of plot progression and character development. And guest vocals from Four Year Strong about halfway into the album. That kind of story.

"Woke Up Older" is like the poppy song for this album, and it's really fucking rad. I like all of the songs, pretty much, though. I'm a fanboy and it's to be expected. I'm probably an embarrassment to the Dopamines shit I'm wearing...but they're a buncha posers anyway. This song also serves as a perfect example of how they progress musically with each record. The drums are fucking amazing at times, and the guitar leads and beautiful. The song is as catchy as ever, and just like everything else the band has ever released, it'll be stuck in your head like hair follicles. Deal with it.

"The fountain is off! This is the first time I've been back to the city in months! I'm trying to hold it together, but irony's found cracks in the foundation!" Who doesn't already know this song word for word? I think the whole world does. At least that tumblr place does. Everyone there is crying over how awesome this song is. And yes, it's fucking awesome. I think I've already specifically reviewed this song in another post, so I don't think I should go on about it. BUT GOD, THE GUITAR IS GREAT. "I WALKED UPSTAIRS TO SHAVE MY BEARD; I FELT LIKE I WAS HOLDING SADNESS HERE." "I'M NOT A SELF-HELP BOOK, I'M JUST A FUCKED UP KID. I HAD TO TAKE MY OWN ADVICE AND DID."

"Suburbia" serves as a song that places you into the city Soupy calls home from time to time. It's like an intermission or an interlude. It's pretty boss. I had to mention it even though I don't have too much to say about it.

Then there's this song about not fitting in for so long, and everyone having just hated the band. It's called "My Life as a Pigeon"...which is totally about Hank. This song is stylistically different from much of The Wonder Years work...and that's kind of a thing with quite a few songs on this release. They've definitely done what they set out to do, which is write a new album that can possibly trump The Upsides. It's hard to say that for sure, because I the fuck do you trump one of the best albums in pop punk history? Saves the Day went as far as possible away from trumping Through Being Cool, and that seems to be the case with a lot of bands. But, with The Wonder Years, you have to be strapped in and prepared to be ear-raped with pure gold. Because this album is fucking awesome, fucking catchy, and fucking everything I wanted.

"Summers in PA" is another poppy as fuck song for this release. It also has some FYS vocals thrown into it. It's perrrrfffecccttttt. I don't know, it's just so great. I mean, it's followed by a better song... so it's hard to keep talking about it because I'm really just anxious to move on and talk about "I Won't Say the Lord's Prayer". I mean, it's basically a song about the way a lot of us feel when we look at people who are blindly religious, and it just seems so questionable and depressing I don't know, I don't really like talking about religion anymore, but it just seems so 10 years ago to be up in arms against it and whatnot. This song can do the talking for me.


"Coffee Eyes" is another one of those songs that were released earlier than the it's another one of those songs that we all know the lyrics to and are all obsessed with. I mean, out of the three pre-released songs, it's not my favorite by far. But it's still so fucking good. It's also another one of those songs with super powerful drumming.

Now we have "I've Given You All", which is an acoustic track which serves as the second part in the whole series of setting-type interludes for this album. This song is also just super fucking depressing. I hate people. It's about a possibly homeless-possibly apartment-owning dude in a raincoat who liked to sleep outside and was beaten to death in a park. And it's about old alcoholics and whatnot. Blah, it's just so sad. Blah.

"You drove me all the way up here, because you could tell that I was a mess. I wasn't going to make it to dinner, I shouldn't be calling again." This song..."Don't Let Me Cave In" so fucking good. It's another of the pre-released tracks that are already burned into our heads. It also has a music video...which totally made it so that both Wonder Years music videos have Johnny from The Flaming Tsunamis featured in them. He's their merch guy and all. So it makes sense. This song is just so amazing. Every line is so catchy and necessary.

With each song, one will notice that this is not some sort of Upsides rehash. It's the logical progression of the band, and it's awesome. Every song feels completely needed in this arrangement, and every song has some bit of awesome to contribute. That being said, "Hoodie Weather" does sound like it's an Upsides song. I mean, I think it's like a part two to "All My Friends Are In Bar Bands" or something. I mean, musically it's not similar at all, but lyrically it definitely is like an Upsides followup. The vocal melody at parts reminds me a lot Fireworks...which makes sense because they play together all the time. It's just all in all and great addition to the record, and a nice penultimate song.


The album ends with basically the part of story that places you where the band is at the end of this story, and the anticipation of what's going to happen for the next installment. I hope the next album isn't released in two parts, like some Deathly Hallows shit. I've killed for less. There's this part in this "And Now I'm Nothing" song about baby jesus being stolen from the manger in town that makes me laugh. Because in my hometown, somebody kept doing that every year, so now the baby jesus is chained down to the nativity scene. Also, the lady who paints him every year was criticized for making him black and they had him repainted. It was pretty lame. I really like the happy-sounding guitar leads throughout this song...they're definitely a nice touch. Overall, I would have to say this isn't one of my favorite songs for the album. I think it's definitely the perfect way to end this record though. I'm in love with The Wonder Years. It's okay if you're not; I understand. Well, I don't really understand. But, you know...I don't really understand. It's whatever, though. I won't judge you if you don't judge me.

JUST FUCKING LISTEN TO THIS ALBUM. Try to not like it. Be THAT guy. Go open some pits and steal some shoes. Be THAT guy.


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