Written in an isolated cabin in Vermont and recorded onto tape at John Vanderslice's Tiny Telephone studio, Into It. Over It.'s 2016 album, Standards, was the most challenging work that the band's Evan Weiss had yet to undertake. Since 2007, he'd been making the kind of emo that nods to pop, but whose main focus was expressing the raging emotions tossing to and fro within his soul. Released in 2013, Intersections was a big step forward, his first album that held together as a unified piece instead of feeling like a songwriting experiment. Standards takes the sound of that album, a kind of hybrid of Superchunk's melodic bounce punk and standard emo-pop confessionals, and blows it out into something both more powerful sonically and deep emotionally. Weiss has grown as a writer and musician, which when combined with his prowess arranging the songs makes for a big jump in quality here. The loud, insistent tracks threaten to spin out of control and the ballads are so fragile they sound like they'd break apart in a strong wind, even those, like "Anesthetic," that are bolstered by strings. The contrast is breathtaking and gives the album the feel of an epic journey. The majestic drumming of Joshua David Sparks adds to that impression; the guy drums like he has four hands and adds all kinds of energy to the band's sound. His work on "Adult Contempt" is worth checking out for fans of insane drumming; same with his more subtle work on "Required Reading." The pair are perfectly matched and the time they spent working on the album pays off in something special, definitely Into It. Over It.'s best work yet. More importantly, it's a great record filled with emotion, imagination, and passion that's on par with any album labeled "emo," past or present.
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra