Sunday, October 6, 2013

Album Review: Into It. Over It. - Intersections

Album Rating: A-
There is no better title to Into It. Over It.'s new record than Intersections. The band, a brainchild of the insanely busy Evan Weiss, has created a mature second album that follows up and expands upon 2011's Proper. While Into It. Over It. started, and in some ways will always just be Weiss' project, his recent foray into full-band territory has been wildly successful. On Intersections, we find Weiss almost stripping himself down to his acoustic roots, while still maintaining his infectious full-band sound.

Intersections is a record that at first, may throw off some of Evan's long time fans. It's a much more mature and complex sound compared to his past releases. Being one of the most busy musicians in recent memory, Weiss is involved in multiple other projects than IIOI. The newer side-band Their / They're / There, which features Matthew Frank (Loose Lips, Sink Ships) and Mike Kinsella (Owen/American Football/ Cap'n Jazz), has appeared to have the greatest influence upon Intersections. The angular and post math-rock guitar stylings of both Frank and Kinsella are evident in Weiss' playing this time around, and his melodies and progressions are invigorating and fresh.

On Proper, Weiss employed straight forward alternative rock elements to craft a catchy, yet relatively basic album. Not that Proper was anything short of great, but the chance of his follow-up falling into the sophomore slump category was present. Intersections completely avoids any sort of slump at all and is one of the most well-crafted records out this year.

With the opening track, "New North Side Air," Weiss delivers grandly with his poetic lyricism that is personal yet relatable. The angular guitars have the slightest amount of distortion on them that makes their sound unique amongst other bands, and the songs's craft is woven together seamlessly. "Spinning Thread" is reminiscent most of Their / They're / There, where Evan's vocals are crisp and natural, while he plays a noodling guitar line over almost melodic drums. Intersections presents so many different ideas and styles while still remaining contextual and concise. The slower and more minimalistic track ("A Curse Worth Believing," "No Amount of Sound") give the perfect amount of breathing room for the more "rocking" tunes such as "Spatial Exploration."

Intersections plays like an Into It. Over It. album that's been blended with the multitude of works by Mike Kinsella (specifically American Football and his drum work on Owls' self-titled record). Evan has truly outdone himself by creating such a thought-provoking and growing album that only rewards the listener more and more upon further listening. Perfectly complementing the autumn season in which it is released, the record has distinct character and immediately draws the listener in.

Fans of IIOI's Twelve Towns will be presently surprised to find that Intersections comes closest to a sequel to the compilation album, although Intersections is its own complete and fulfilling album. This is not to say that all fans won't enjoy it as much, but I can see some fans of Proper being thrown off a tiny bit. But give the album repeated listens and let it marinate. It is just like a fine wine that gets better with age--a metaphor that is just as fitting for Evan Weiss.


Track list:

1. New North Side Air
2. Spinning Thread
3. A Curse Worth Believing
5. Spatial Exploration
6. Favor & Fiction
7. The Shaking of Leaves
8. Upstate Blues
9. No Amount of Sound
10. A Pair of Matching Taxi Rides
11. Obsessive Compulsive Distraction
12. Your Antique Organ
13. Contractual Obligation

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