January is about to close its (mostly frost-covered) doors, but not before the emo-revivalists in You Blew It! can release a 7” EP called Pioneer of Nothing through Jade Tree. Their third release in just over a year, the band has not only found a way to mature their sound past what was heard on last year’s Keep Doing What You’re Doing, but managed to do so in less than ten minutes, allowing for the perfect sampling size of what the band has to offer.
As a fan of their aforementioned sophomore LP, the songs on Pioneer of Nothing do much better at getting my attention from the opener “Lanai”, which weaves its way through sub-three-minute running time in what feels like a matter of seconds. The clean guitar tones neatly buried in the mix managed to mesh fantastically with the distorted ones as well as the energetic rhythms from drummer Matt Nissley. All of this is in the background to Tanner Jones’ stellar vocals, which stick to more of a welcoming midrange tone this time around compared to the coarser vocals on previous releases.
For those who prefer everything that “Lanai” isn’t, “Bedside Manor” and “Your Side” are here to get you to sway. The former wobbles around in dreamy atmospheric manner before bringing it all in by the midpoint, then quickly fading out to leave you wondering what may come next amidst the gentle string of guitar notes and eventual up-tempo drum work – both flushed in a reverb-filled distortion.
By the time the latter begins with its much more mellow approach, you’ll find yourself in disbelief. The slower pacing displays an even more sensitive and emotional side to the band that we’ve yet to see in their past year of releases. Again, the guitar tones dictate the song’s progression, with help from the Nissley’s bass drum-heavy rhythms, until Jones wraps his thoughts with a calmly sung “I am by your side tonight/No matter how many times you’re convinced otherwise” and a gentle swell of organs leads the group to the quick end of the release – leaving the listener wanting more for all of the right reasons.