I don't want to say Glamour Kills has been memory-holed. Is it being memory-holed if there's just no reason for people around me to talk about them? I don't know. But every time I think of them it's such a powerful moment that I need to discuss it.
Glamour Kills was a clothing brand, but they did a lot of collaboration with bands like All Time Low and Mayday Parade and We The Kings and that sort of thing. I remember vividly being so jealous of Tay Jardine from We Are The In Crowd in a bunch of the Glamour Kills ads. I thought she was the height of cool when I was 14 years old. I thought she was so cool I asked my parents for a Glamour Kills leather bomber jacket for Christmas because she wore it in an ad.
They did tours over the 2010s headlined by the likes of The Ready Set, All Time Low, New Found Glory and Mayday Parade, but, in 2012, The Wonder Years headlined. We're gonna focus on 2012 because in 2012 they released a compilation EP featuring all the people on the tour covering each other's songs and I was changed by this EP despite not attending a date of this tour.
I knew of The Wonder Years because my sister had bought one of their t-shirts at Warped Tour 2011. I heard "Coffee Eyes" and was sold on them to the point I'd watch or read any interview with Dan Campbell that I could find. I watched one with Evan Weiss and that's how I came to the split EP.
I don't remember much that they say in this except that Dan talks about Evan being in The Progress as something capital-I-Important. What's important, though, is that I do remember seeing the album art from the covers compilation in the side bar of youtube and being like, "now that's cool!" because in 2012 anything that looked deep fried in the original Instagram filters was so sick to me.
And, as a fan of The Wonder Years, I was sold on the idea of them covering another band. The whole concept was that the bands covered each other's songs. Not to be reviewing covers from 11 years ago, but here are some quickfire thoughts:
Polar Bear Club covering "Skipping Stone" by Transit
Now, I was never too much a Transit fan, but I have some affection for "Skipping Stone" because the non-acoustic version was also on a Warped Tour compilation I listened to a lot. I like what Polar Bear Club does with the song. I was always pretty big into Polar Bear Club, though. They always felt sort of caught in between the post-hardcore stuff and the pop punk stuff in a way that was accessible to me as a dork teenager coming at it from being a big fan of the neon pop punk of the late 2000s/very early 2010s.
It's relatively faithful cover with Jimmy Stadt's voice which, honestly, I just prefer.
Transit covering "Resent and Resistance" by Polar Bear Club
This is my favorite thing Transit ever did. It's because I liked Polar Bear Club. Sorry.
The Story So Far covered "Wrightsville Beach" by A Loss For Words
See, I love "Wrightsville Beach" I think it's an awesome song. I really liked A Loss For Words, too! I bought one of their t-shirts without knowing more than one song when I was in high school. Do I vibe with this cover of their very good pop punk song? No. Am I stuck in a cycle of listening to nothing but "Wrightsville Beach" due to writing this? Yeah of course. I can pretend I've moved past gang vocals, but I simply have not. What a band!
The problem with The Story So Far is, of course, that I don't like them and never have and never will. Their cover is heavier and it's fine.
A Loss For Words covered "Quicksand" by The Story So Far
I think "Quicksand" is a perfectly fine song. I think it's kind of boring. A Loss For Words does a pretty straight forward cover and it's fine. It doesn't compare to their perfect song "Wrightsville Beach" but it's a serviceable cover.
Into It. Over It. covering "Don't Let Me Cave In" by The Wonder Years.
As someone unfamiliar with Into It. Over it., this was thrilling to me as I believed it to be one of The Wonder Years' best songs. Now I think it's just the song that makes the most sense for IIOI to cover. I love how lo-fi it is and the sort of meandering guitar that is true to Into It. Over It.
There are a few lyric changes in this one that mirror the original's nod to their friendship:
"I spent last night getting Mexican outside a Logan Square basement show with Evan" to "I spent last night singing sad songs with Daniel on a New Year's Eve in Philly"
That was big for me at 15. Great cover.
The Wonder Years covering "Anchor" by Into It. Over It.
"Anchor" is kind of THE Into It. Over It. song to cover. I wouldn't put it in my top 25 IIOI songs, but I get it. It's evocative and pleasant and relatively simple but compelling. It's a good song. It makes sense. I think this is probably the best cover of it.
I love how big and echoing it feels. I love how layered it is. They make it a Wonder Years song with all of the catharsis of what makes a great Wonder Years song. There are also some layered background vocals at the end saying, "trees grow from seed" which is a fun little easter egg reference to "A Drug Called Tradition" by The Progress.
A now-deleted more popular YouTube video for the song used to have a comment about that line explaining what it was. I was so in love with the song– and IIOI's cover of The Wonder Years– that it ended up bringing me to all different kinds of Evan Weiss sphere projects that then led me to a world of emo I wouldn't have entered otherwise. Or maybe I would have, but it brought me there faster. I sort of credit this EP and the connection between The Wonder Years and Into It. Over It. with bringing me to the music that ended up really impacting me as a teenager outside Chicago in the 2010s.
There's always a lot of discussion about covers and what make good covers or bad covers or whatever, but the cover is a fickle art in that "good" covers are highly contextual.
- The best cover is of a song you do not already know. That's why I like Drug Church's cover of "Remember to Forget" or Joyce Manor's cover of "Midnight Service at the Mutter Museum." I have no previous interest intthose originals.
- The second best cover is of a song you think is fun being played live by a band that you're not familiar with.
- The third best cover is when a band you think is really good does a cover of a song you think is really good.
- The worst cover is when a band makes a song that isn't a pop punk song into a pop punk song.
- The second worst cover is when any band you don't like covers a song you love.
- The third worst cover is when a band you only kind of like covers a song you love.
- Live covers are always better than recorded covers because it's a lower standard.
Anyway, I like the idea of bands who are contemporaries covering each other's songs. It's a cute novelty thing to do. If you have a copy of this EP on vinyl that you're willing to part with for cheap, I'm around and I'm interested.
Miranda Reinert is a music adjacent writer, zine maker, podcaster and law school drop out based in Philadelphia. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram for more insights into my silly little cute life: @mirandareinert. This blog does have a paid option and I would so appreciate any money you would be willing to throw me! You may also send me small bits of money at @miranda-reinert on venmo/on Paypal if you want. As always, thanks for reading!