The Years Gone By - Something You Know Nothing About
Release Date: October 6, 2009
Record Label: Unsigned
Whoa, whoa, whoa -- since when did glossy pop-punk (emphasis on the pop) actually become respectable again? Answer: when The Years Gone By decided it was time to settle down, center their focus and unleash an EP that contains the best material yet of their, well, short career (so far!). Last year's Forever Comes Too Soon was a rather mild entry in establishing the band as a threat amongst the All Time Lows and Hit the Lights, but consider yourself warned. The Years Gone By are all that and a bag of chips, with the extra-juicy hooks piled upon power chords that spit out melodies Kenny Vasoli would cherish.
Taking some much-needed time off to reassess their ideas of what kind of pop-punk they wanted to replicate, The Years Gone By went back to the drawing board and set forth on releasing five songs that took all that promise their debut hinted at, and this time, actually delivering the results. Clocking in at just under 16 minutes, Something You Know Nothing About documents a band reconfiguring everything they had previously done and making it sound larger than before, but piecing it together with far more natural ideals. Essentially, it's a complicated way of saying, this EP is more style, less substance.
"For the Hopeless" kicks it off with self-reflective road-journal lyrics and a flurry of terrific drumwork courtesy of Louis Dobrolsky. "The Last Perfect Thing" is the best song Alex Gaskarth never bothered to write, an ode to the band's hometown; again, the production highlights Dobrolsky's work, because there is rarely an instance where his mechanics sound hollow or "St. Anger-ish". "Dirty Converse Shoes" goes down so smooth, you'd swear it was made of chocolate milk (unless you're lactose intolerant, which in that case, it goes down like a good beer... or if you're under 21, Snapple). There's something in Nick Madore's voice that sounds less insecure and more profound in a strikingly confident manner, as if he is singing from the heart this time around. Alright, so maybe Put Up or Shut Up was spinning in the background when the band wrote all this, but as long as they keep their chins up and focus on the content of their music over Glamour Kills' new winter line, The Years Gone By can boldly go where Drive-Thru bands once used to prosper (no, silly -- not Richard Reines' back-walking seminars; I meant the big leagues!).
"The Safest Place" rolls along on a nice chunky bass riff and oozes with charm you haven't seen since Jimmy Eat World danced with kids in their underpants. The entire record just plays as a far more genuine and honest display of who The Years Gone By truly are -- and frankly, it sounds quite nice. For anyone who has given up on the more-produced version of pop-punk, maybe The Years Gone By will be the ones to set you straight. There's enough edge here for the ones who question and plenty of solid hooks for the ones who seek answers.