The speed with which Evan Weiss produces new music often obscures the quality and care that goes into those compositions. The clinical precision of Intersections, his second LP as Into It. Over It., underlined that point, and its followup, Standards, marries the nuance of its predecessor with the off-the-cuff feel of Weiss's work with side-projects Pet Symmetry and Their/They're/There.
Written in a Vermont cabin with drummer Josh Sparks and recorded with producer John Vanderslice (Spoon, the Mountain Goats), the record shows off the breadth and depth of Weiss's talents both as a player and songwriter. "Adult Contempt" best showcases the interplay between Weiss and Sparks that forms the record's backbone. The singer-guitarist says he always writes with a drummer, and that creative dichotomy is on full display here — the drums propel the track forward as Weiss's broken chords bounce between the rapid-fire beats, his voice soaring over top of the proceedings.
IIOI's previous records tended to operate on single speeds, but here, Weiss pushes things to extremes: rockers like "Vis Major" rub shoulders with more ambient numbers like "Your Lasting Image." The decision to record to analog tape, meanwhile — a prerequisite to working with Vanderslice — gives the record a warm presence that was sorely lacking on the relatively cold Intersections.
Shades of the emo aesthetic that launched a thousand emo-revival think-pieces remain, but the influence really is more of a feeling than a sound. Weiss long ago found his own voice, and on Standards he finally captures it on tape for the world to see and hear. (Triple Crown)