There’s two ways you can listen to a tribute record; what I’m sure the majority do is listen to it as a tribute, and consequently end up comparing the original to the covers, but you can take it as a stand alone record and leave comparisons aside. Although with a band as influential as Weezer, I found that hard to do for this record, this five-track EP from You Blew It! can be seen as much as their own, with their covers paying off excellently.
Although Tanner (Jones, frontman/guitarist) says, “not that we or any other band could, but we really didn’t want to try and out-do Weezer“, from the melancholy Man Overboard style injected into EP opener, In The Garage, the band have, as they aimed to, been able to “add our touch to Blue”. The simplistic guitar that welcomes second track My Name Is Jonas continues the excellence in paying homage to the iconic band, and the peak of the track reached with percussion and line “the workers are going home” colliding stands alone in its impressive execution.
The softer opening to Only In Dreams adds new sincerity to the release, and an instrumental backing brings about an atmosphere of the back of a smokey bar – the combination of the sombre mood and setting adds a note of desperate longing to the five and half minute spectacle. Angry drumming and understated solos only add to the superb delivery of the tribute.
“We chose Surf Wax because it’s a really great song, plain and simple. We didn’t want to do singles from the record, and luckily Surf Wax is one of those cuts that could have held its own as one, but seemed untouched enough to allow a fresh perspective on it”, mentions Tanner when speaking of the next track off You Blue It, and he is definitely correct in thinking that this works for itself. Catchy hooks, an infectious chorus and of course, the much-loved original make this my personal favourite off the EP, as well as the one to remain in your head for days afterwards. The EP closes with Susanne, and whilst the exquisite guitar and heartfelt delivery make the song strong in itself, it somehow feels a little too weak to close the record with.
To be released digitally on July 15th and on vinyl August 12th via Topshelf records, this EP will appeal equally to fans of Weezer and those who’ve never heard the originals.