Review by Shannon Shumaker
It may still be a little premature to say that I’ve found my favorite album (or EP, in this case) of 2015, but so far, You, Me, and Everyone We Know’s new EP, Dogged takes the cake. Only six songs in length, this EP wastes no time in kicking off strong, loud and in your face. The energy on the entire album is amazing, the emotion is palpable, the vocals are strong and the lyrics are smart and personal, but still relatable. Right off the bat, You, Me, and Everyone We Know hooks you with catchy guitar riffs and melodies that are sure to get stuck in your head after just one listen. (Trust me, I’m still humming them to myself.)
“Does It Amaze Thee,” the first full song on the EP following the intro track, “Raise Them Bones,” is nothing short of amazing. The emotion in the nearly screamed lyrics in this song is palpable, but on top of that, the lyrics themselves are what really drive the song home above the energy. Vocalist Ben Liebsch is transparent in his lyricism throughout the entire album, but especially in this opening song with the line, “Does it amaze thee that I could be this banged up and still thrive?”
Throughout the entire album, the vocal melodies are smart and catchy and the harmonies are on point, especially in the third track, “I’d Rather Be Sleeping.” The way that they mesh dark lyrical content with upbeat and catchy as hell melodies is not only incredible, but enough to get the song stuck in your head. The first time I listened to “I’d Rather Be Sleeping,” I found myself singing along with the chorus by the end of the song - it’s that catchy and memorable. “Eat My Hands,” is probably the most upbeat song on the album, and easily the most positive song lyrically, which serves as a great high point in the middle. The underlying message of the song is about moving forward, and perfectly captures the inner struggles that Liebsch has dealt with over the past few years. The song’s line, “Desperate times call for a creative spark,” is easily one of the strongest lines on the album.
“Brooks Was Here,” however, is definitely the strongest track on the album. Again, the song itself is poppy and catchy, which contrasts perfectly with the dark and serious lyrical content about depression. The outcome is an anthem, and not one that necessarily promises that “it gets better,” but more so, “life goes on,” something that people can relate with and understand, as Liebsch screams, “If it’s all in my head, then let me out.”
“A Pleasant Bummer” is the perfect outro track, and the only slow song on the EP. Like the other songs on the album, the emotion in the song is raw, but this time around, it’s unprotected by catchy melodies and upbeat poppiness - instead, everything is laid out on the table, leaving you feeling like you’ve just gone through an emotional rollercoaster. I think that’s what makes Dogged so strong, even though it’s only six songs in length - each song hits hard and wastes no time in getting its point across. Honestly, it’s near impossible to find one flaw in this comeback release. It seems that Liebsch has taken his experiences over the past few years and used them as fuel for this release, and the result is absolutely incredible, leaving me anxious to see what You, Me, and Everyone We Know will go from here.
Listen to "Brooks Was Here"