You Blew It!
“Surf Wax America” (Weezer Cover)
by Chad Jewett
Of the five songs You Blew It! culled from Weezer’s “Blue Album” (also known as Weezer), “Surf Wax America” made the most sense. Working the same aesthetic of sparkling jangle, clean-burning volume, and bright-eyed tunefulness that defined You Blew It!’s most recent album (the exceptional Keep Doing What You’re Doing), “Surf Wax America” seemingly constitutes a sizable link in the band’s DNA. For their part, You Blew It! have a beautiful instinct for playing around imaginatively at the edge’s of the song — whether it be letting the opening riff curl upwards instead of down, replacing the original’s deep, belly-aching organ break with glimmering vibraphone, or softening Weezer’s big-bang middle-eight for something more conversational. When that final “Let’s go!” comes around, You Blew It! replace Weezer’s stadium fireworks with clean, translucent guitars, a beautiful way for the Florida band to keep the ball in their warmly nostalgic emo court in the song’s final passage. These moments make the song more intimate and life-sized, and in that sense might just improve upon it. Indeed, You Blew It! brings a lighter touch to the louder moments of “Surf Wax America” (Weezer’s version lands with a thud, YBI’s lands like a bird on a branch), lending an uncannily autumnal quality to the song, underlined by the increasing knack Tanner Jones has exhibited for offering warm yet faintly plaintive melodies. His take on the song is gentle and airy. Weezer’s “Surf Wax America” seems to exist at the beginning of summer. You Blew It!’s feels like it’s staring down fall.