FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The Wonder Years (3 new songs)

Band photo

Yesterday may have been the greatest day of 2011 for me thus far. Not only did I spend the day catching up on work and setting in motion dozens of future UTG features, but a 3-song sampler of The Wonder Years new album arrived and left me scraping my jaw off the floor. I know how much people hate when we talk about releases they won’t hear for weeks (close to 2 months actually), but something needs to be said because if these songs are any representation of Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing, then we may have found a new contender for Album Of The Year.

Of the the three songs that I was fortunate enough to hear, two were new to me. The third song, the recently premiered “Local Man Ruins Everything,” already had me excited for Suburbia, but hearing it amongst the other tracks definitely helped to cement the belief this could potentially be The Wonder Years’ strongest album to date. The song packs a lot of heart into a song that’s laced with pop sensibilities. A stronger sound for the group definitely, but also one that’s prepped for television and radio play. I don’t know how they found such a perfect balance, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t impressive.

The new songs, “Coffee Eyes” and “Don’t Let Me Cave In,” perfectly continue the progressive, somehow even more honest than before Wonder Years sound we found on “Local Man” while still standing out as their own unique tracks. “Coffer Eyes,” a definitely a more in-your-face track, comes packed with a pit-inducing beat and Soupy’s signature diary style lyrics. I know that may not sound any different from the rest of the band’s catalog, but the its the sound and feel of the track that sets it apart. The maturity is undeniable and while I may fail horribly at explaining it beyond overused terms like “growth,” “progression,” and sounding “tighter,” I sincerely mean that statement. You can tell they’ve grown comfortable in who they are as a band and it translates flawlessly into the music.

Taking a step from the aggressive delivery of “Coffee Eyes,” “Don’t Let Me Cave In” has already become a contender for my personal favorite Wonder Years song to date. A subtle intro leads into possibly the group’s most finely structured track to date with a hook you’ll instantly have stuck in your head. Think “Hostels And Brothels” meets “It’s Never Sunny In South Philadelphia,” but with two heaping cups of evolution and growth, as people and artists, on top.

As I said in the beginning, if these 3 songs are representative of Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing as whole, the world better be ready for a complete Wonder Years takeover in 2011. I know we cover this band a lot, but as someone whose followed them since their debut, I don’t know that I have ever been so continually impressed with a band’s progression. The Wonder Years have gone from a band only the smallest pockets of the music community discussed to soon-to-be Alternative Press cover stars in a matter of years and they’ve done so without once changing who they were as musicians or people. I already proclaimed this album to be one of the most anticipated released of 2011, but I think it’s safe to say this is now THE MOST anticipated record of they year. June 14 cannot come soon enough.

Written by: James Shotwell

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

Latest posts by James Shotwell (see all)

Both comments and pings are currently closed.
  • Poaer

    “Yesterday may have been the greatest day of 2011 for me thus far. Not only did I spend the day catching up on work and setting in motion dozens of future UTG features, but a 3-song sampler of The Wonder Years new album arrived and left me scraping my jaw off the floor.”

    Unnecessary paragraph. Stick to the music.

  • God

    “Poaer”

    Unnecessary person. Stick to your basement.