If The Wonder Years have taken anything from the television series they took their name from, it’s the importance that storytelling can play in entertainment. While the band is rooted firmly in the emo-punk tradition of driving guitars and earnest, personal lyrics, the band goes deeper than simply writing songs about pining over girls and the pains of a broken heart. On their third album, Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing, the Wonder Years don’t just play songs, they craft stories, delving into the everyday battles that exist in between all the big moments in life. Taking a cue from narrative-centric bands like the Hold Steady and the Thermals, the band creates a living and breathing world for their songs to live in, telling stories of sketchy businessmen burning down bowling alleys for insurance money, the lone homeless guy in a small town, and the sobering pains of moving back into your parents basement to get your life back together. These little touches give Suburbia that certain something that allows it to stand apart from the band's peers, giving the listeners songs that don’t need to be deciphered so much as pieced together into a single story. This kind of songwriting makes for an engrossing listen that invites you to sit back and hear its tales as the Wonder Years show you that relationships aren’t the only things in this world that can break your heart. If you’ve been looking for someone to merge the huge sound of melodic hardcore with a strong dose of narrative depth, search no further.
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AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney