I don’t know anything about We Are the In Crowd, except for their close relationships, and sound similar to other poppy, upbeat rock groups that plague Warped Tour and remind me of my teens. But stepping out of my natural comfort box seemed necessary, because We Are the In Crowd has potential, and potential bands are my favorite. With the release of their new single “Manners”, I wanted them to impress me.
But they didn’t.
My initial reaction to the the dramatic introduction wasn’t very big, because the cliché entrance just features a bunch of repetitive “ohh”s with an overwhelming, cheap electric piano melody. However, it gains momentum with Taylor Jardine’s voice, which is probably the most impressive thing about this band, and her beginning statement, “someone should teach you some manners.” The fine lyrical contributions are shared between Jardine and guitarist Jordan Eckes. The voices don’t collide; they actually fit well together because both parties can hold themselves. Jardine seems to have the upper hand on her lyrics, with sassy remarks like, “I think you’ve got more nerve than you’ve got tact,” and “I see straight through your empty chest and spineless back.” If there’s one thing to appreciate about this song, it’s the teen angst and sass attacks.
The one thing I can’t seem to get over, though, is how different the song is from itself, and the association I can easily make to other bands. The verses are accompanied by a dull, almost generic rhythm. I’m sure it’s composed of real instruments, but it sounds so flowery that it’s basically electric noise. But the band changes course completely with the chorus and bridge sections that are so heavily packed with good-sounding instruments. Those sections are powerful and full, packed with emotion and stamina. It’s difficult to imagine the song as a whole, because I’m constantly picking apart the sections. And it’s failing because I can’t see the song in its entirety.
I hate taking female vocalists out of context and sort of pairing them off or comparing one to the other because voices in general are so different, but add the quality of female singers and it’s a bigger separation. “Manners” could easily pass for a Paramore song, because of Jardine’s vocals and the instrumental parts of the chorus and bridge. I just get this huge wave of Paramore that it’s unnerving. I won’t say the song’s unoriginal, but it just sounds like a lot of things that already exist. In modern society it’s hard to completely stand out, sure, but I don’t think We Are the In Crowd did a great job of that here.