“Ah, so you’re into that whole twinkle daddies thing.”
“You know, this style of music that’s overtaking local basements and garages over the nation.”
Uh, come again?
This is a conversation I had with someone on Facebook after gushing about You Blew It!’s Topshelf debut Grow Up, Dude. Last.fm informs that it’s “Those emo-ish bands with the twinkly guitars and the hoarse vocals. Twinkle daddies.” Okay, I guess that makes sense. While I insist that the name for this genre of music is incredibly stupid, the music coming forth is definitely not. The genre has churned out some great under appreciated acts such as Grown Ups, Snowing, and The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die, but it’s the Orlando, Florida quartet who seem poised to break out in 2012.
The 46 second title track opens up the album with a nostalgic feel – its quiet, slow build-up surges into the raw energy of “Pinball House.” You feel like you’re shoulder to shoulder with countless other people in a smoky, sweaty Knights of Columbus hall, bringing back that memory of shouting your lungs out. The music on Grow Up, Dude is right away inviting, giving off a feeling that’s both accessible and intimate. The fantastic “Terry V. Tori” kicks off with vocalist Tanner Jones declaring, “I’m usually not one to pick fights, but you really crossed the line,” as the rest of the band chimes in with dual vocal harmonies, always-active drumming, and incredibly catchy melodies.
The versatility heard within Grow Up, Dude is one of the album’s biggest strengths. One of the many standout tracks is the mid-tempo jam that is “Medal of Honor.” Timothy Flynn’s work behind the kit is the driving force behind the powerful song, as Jones belts out, “I’m not a fuckin’ trophy, but to you I might as well be.” Throughout the album, you can tell that the band has drawn a lot of influence from the late 90s/early 00s scene that consisted of American Football, Cap’n Jazz, and The Get Up Kids. The layered quaint guitar strums and lively bass line set the tone for the slow burning “The Fifties.” Along with its smooth vocal delivery, tracks like this one fit in perfectly with the above comparisons.
You Blew It! does a fantastic job of bringing back memories without sounding contrived or a carbon copy of the past. While they come from the school of Owen and The Get Up Kids, these Floridians also unleash an aggressiveness that’s also heard in bands like The Wonder Years and Into It. Over it. For example, one listen to “I’m Bill Paxton” and it’s not too far-fetched to think that You Blew It! could one day be on the bill of the next Glamour Kills tour.
What makes You Blew It! so endearing is just how real they are. There’s nothing fake or insincere with them or this record, as it contains that DIY charm. The raw imperfection – the rough guitar chords, the casual off note – gives the record’s twelve tracks a devil-may-care attitude that is at once relatable. It’s equal parts calm and chaotic, as Grow Up, Dude is certain to bring back memories as well as create them. And if that’s what being a twinkle daddy is all about, then I’m all for it. Dumb name and all.