‘In Under Fourteen Highly Concentrated Minutes’ marks the band’s first new tracks since 2015’s ‘I’d Watch The Day Til It Died’.
I’ve spent a personally-record-breaking amount of time in Saint John this year. This is largely thanks to being part of the Quality Block Party family of bands. Two of my outfits (Young Satan in Love and The Trick) have had the pleasure of playing in the gritty port city a pile of times, and we’ve very much enjoyed ourselves. From moving tables out of the way at Taco Pica during set up to big, fun shows to late-night gear-luggin’ rides in horrifying freight elevators deep in the uptown, we always have fun with our family in Saint John. I don’t use the word “family” here loosely either. In a lot of ways, I’m probably happier to park on Germain Street and run into someone from Penny Blacks or S.H.R.I.M.P. Ring than I would be if I saw a good portion of the people I’m related to.
This is important context, I think. It’s important because I’m about to talk about a new four-song EP from Little You, Little Me. You might already know that I love these good boys. They released the stellar I’d Watch the Day Til It Died just a little under two years ago. I loved that, too. I’ve shared gear and stages and hugs and high fives with them in Fredericton but also further away, in places with fewer friends. I play with 75% of them sometimes in Tooth & The Fang.
I am biased.
But I know I’m not the only one. Fredericton knows Little You, Little Me too. They’ve blown your face off at The Capital. They have a reputation for crushingly huge and hook-heavy “hard rock” (fuck, it feels so trite to label anything as “rock” doesn’t it?) that channels everything from emo to hardcore to shoegaze. It’s big. So much of Saint John is big. And this new EP is both a bit of a look forward and a look backwards at the same time that, I think, represents the life of the band in a neat way.
In Under Fourteen Highly Concentrated Minutes is just four tracks, and one is a revisit of a track from IWTDTID. Starting a short EP with a loving redo of an existing track strikes me as a particularly good idea. “Here’s one you know”. And it’s a lovely rendition of the track. Added keyboard tones and backing vocals from Saint John’s Sadie [Donahue] and Fredericton’s Penny [Stevens] really tie the room together. If anything, they show how half-time frontman and lovable curmudgeon Corey Bonnevie has grown as a sound engineer and producer in two years. It shows LY,LM in their punchy form; big riffs and bloody knuckles. It’s not swagger; it’s enthusiasm.
But if you recall, LY,LM had another record called What Have You Been Doing With Yer Time. It was a little less in the mood to fight, and more readily channelled an obvious love for bands like Dinosaur Jr. This EP and these new songs are sort of a return to form, but with the fullness afforded by the current lineup. The far-off-the-mic introduction to “Gavin Country” will eventually lead to you and your friends inevitably singing “I still wanna talk to yoooouuuuuuuu” in the car to one another over big ol’ guitars. I hope you sing it louder than Gavin at shows. I Don’t Care About You has a momentum that makes you wish you could boost the volume of your tapping feet… like if you could find a way to nod along but louder.
Mountain is my favourite new LY,LM track. It has all the pop-hook bounce I love in their songwriting. It has urgency. Michael Milburn’s tight, human-metronome pulls you through the brush and dirt as you roll down the mountain in a cartoon cloud with Geoff Smith, Gavin, and Corey… fretboards and headstocks and beards and black t-shirts picking up tree-branches and spare patch cables.
I can’t think of many better ways to spend 14 minutes of your time. I just listened to the EP front-to-back about six times. You’ll do that too, I bet. It’s very good and it’s also bite-sized and it is delicious. Please just keep your ear to Saint John. There’s so much to love from there. Subtle, Butcher, Sheik, Wrote, S.H.R.I.M.P. Ring, USSE, Penny Blacks, Reagan’s Rayguns… I’m not even scratching the surface. They’re on their game. They’re coming for you. Many of them give great hugs.
In Under Fourteen Highly Concentrated Minutes | Available to purchase HERE | Available on all streaming services October 20.