You Blew It! – Keep Doing What You’re Doing

written by: January 15, 2014
Release Date: January 14, 2014


Although “emo” has been something of a dirty word in recent years, don’t let it deter you from checking out one of the best bands in the incredible emo-revival scene that’s currently at an all-time high.

We’re not talking of the ultra-whiney music that comes to mind with the word “emo”—no one wants to revive Hawthorne Heights—but rather bands like Balance and Composure, Foxing, or in this case, the prodigious Orlando band You Blew It!, which will blow listeners’ expectations out of the water.

Though the band toned down a bit with it’s second full-length, Keep Doing What You’re Doing, You Blew It! carries the same passionate, energetic vigor that drove its previous works into the forefront of the genre since its start in 2009, creating what is by far its best release to date.

Singer Tanner Jones still kills it lyrically and vocally, making use of his ability to sing sweetly or grittily to deliver his lamenting, heartfelt lyrics, and musically, the band is better than ever. Keep Doing What You’re Doing sounds like the group’s old material on steroids, possessing a fuller sound and superior songwriting.

A lot of the songs are still full of angst and hostility, as in the past—specifically tracks like “Match & Tinder” and “Rock Springs”—but the band expands its palate to a wider range of styles, as well.

“A Different Kind of Kindling” starts with Jones singing a cappella, then melts into a powerful instrumental transition. This song is constantly throwing curve balls, impulsively dropping the beat here and there, spontaneously blowing up vocally—all on top of catchy musicianship.

This is what You Blew It! does best: write singable, engaging, hybrid-punk jams.

Then there are the more mellow, earnest tracks that tug at the heartstrings with relatable lyrics and singable melodies. Jones is known for exploring emotional, pessimistic subject matter in his writing, singing a lot about disappointment, nostalgia, and regret. “Strong Island” and “You & Me & Me” are some of the best examples of that; Jones strips down and loses his gritty vocal style to lament on rocky relationships and inner turmoil.

But let’s not forget the signature You Blew It! sound, which makes an appearance on the second track. Hard-hitting instrumentals and honest lyrics drive “Award of the Year Award” into the spotlight, quickly proving to be a fan favorite—and as one of the more fast-paced gems on the record, it’s hard to ignore. Lyrically, it is one of the best songs Keep Doing What You’re Doing has to offer, with harsh lines like, “You can always consider me a friend, just strictly in the past tense.”

At the end of this incredible ride is the climactic finale, “Better to Best.” It’s a beautiful song with a monumental beginning that bursts into an empowering chorus of voices, only getting better as it goes along.

Starting with the line, “Okay I’ll admit it, this past year I’ve been kind of an idiot,” “Better to Best” reflects on the past and sees the brighter side of things with a fittingly jovial melody.

The song decays into feedback, ending with Jones singing, “Maybe things aren’t quite as bad as I’ve let myself believe.” It’s a comforting ending to an album dominated by cynicism.

Making the best of its newfound stellar recording quality (thanks is due to Evan Weiss of Into It. Over It. for producing the album), You Blew It! did just the opposite of what its name suggests and exceeded expectations. The group really hit the nail on the head, crafting a colossal record that will stand the test of time.

Keep Doing What You’re Doing is a masterpiece, a must-listen for fans of the band and the emo revival genre as a whole.

You Blew It! – Keep Doing What You’re Doing tracklist:

  1. “Match & Tinder”
  2. “Award of the Year Award”
  3. “Strong Island”
  4. “Regional Dialect”
  5. “House Address”
  6. “A Different Kind of Kindling”
  7. “Rock Springs”
  8. “You & Me & Me”
  9. “Gray Matter”
  10. “Better to Best”