Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Vinyl Vednesday 1/27

[Vinyl Vednesday is a weekly feature about three favorite vinyl finds. It’s not meant to be a dick-measuring contest, but it kinda is. This week’s installment is on my buds in The Wonder Years, who dropped their second full-length, The Upsides, this week on No Sleep Records. I won’t review the album – too conflict of interest-y even though I haven’t seen them since they began a mission to play every town in the world – but I still wanted to commemorate the accomplishment somehow. E-mail with your own big finds!]

Records: The Wonder Years’ Won’t Be Pathetic Forever (2008) on maroon, orange, and brown.

Place of Purchase: Pre-ordered all three colors of this limited edition seven-inch through the label. Then they released a fourth, release show only color in an extra-scarce number. What the fudge?

Thoughts: It’s still weird to think about given their origins, but The Wonder Years have done OK for themselves. Two full-lengths, a handful of EPs. I can’t believe they’ve played outside of Pennsylvania, let alone the rest of America or Europe. Of all the bands I know, The Wonder Years are the most likely to play on the moon. Which, like I said, is weird given that they used to be a joke band.

The members did time in more “serious-minded” acts like The Premier, Bellwether, and my band, Emergency & I. They had one song, “Buzz Aldrin: The Poster Boy For Second Place,” that they would play in between other bands’ sets at the Lansdale VFW. It was a ridiculously catchy pop punk tune about astronauts (and, to a lesser extent, cosmonauts). Like the rest of their catalog, it’s pop punk with synth, a la Four Year Strong or Fireworks. Some more songs followed, as well as a split with E&I. When all of our respective bands broke up, TWY went pro, recording a split with Bangarang, scoring a record deal, and then dropping a freaking full-length, Get Stoked On It.

I just realized they’ve almost broken a million plays on They’ve got more listens than Texas is a Reason, Jawbox, and The Hooters! They wrote “And We Danced!”

Anyway, back to the seven-inch. It marks a turning point for the band lyrically. The band stopped writing joke songs, having already covered robots, cowboys, ninjas, pirates, and such, in favor of stories about their own lives. It’s still pretty catchy – every movement on “You’re Not Salinger. Get Over It” kicks ass – and fun. My only complaint: None of the three digital coupons worked and nobody from No Sleep ever responded to my e-mails about it. Jerks.

The Wonder Years are on tour now.

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