The inevitable post about Over It.

Over It is my favorite band of all time.

I know that might sound silly – choosing a relatively unknown punk band as opposed to, say, any other influential artist in the annals of history – but you know that age-old question, “If you were alone on an island and could only take one album, what would it be?” – I’d be left with the difficult task of choosing between my 3 favorite Over It albums (Timing is Everything, Silverstrand and Step Outside Yourself) over any Police or Rolling Stones album.

Over It (Nick Bailey, Peter Munters, James Ulrich, Seth Watts and sometimes Ryan Ogren) was not the best band in history, but during my formative youth they made better punk rock and pop punk songs than just about any other band crowding the scene.

What made them so good (in my humble opinion)?

You can start with the music.  The songs are equally complicated and catchy.  Every repeated chord progression in a chorus is dressed up with transitions and fills that make my head spin.  Even when the guitars aren’t flying around at breakneck speed, they’re still technically proficient…  and don’t even get me started on James Ulrich’s drumming (the kid is as good on the set as any rock drummer I’ve ever seen).  Finally – you cap it all off with one of the most full-ranged, powerful voices that have graced punk music.

And then you move deeper into the songs… noticing how the lyrics aren’t just stories – more like ethereal poetry filled with vague notions of longing and hope – with room for interpretation.  More importantly, they were smart – smart enough to win the adoration of an aspiring English major (at the time).  At a time when too many bands were writing bitter songs about ex girlfriends – Over It was their counterpoint, specializing in subtlety and optimism.

Essential Listening (click on the songs to go to the iTunes store):

Hey Liberty!”  – A song from the Hindsight 20/20 EP.  I love the bouncy/chunky guitar part during the chorus and the way Pete hits the final “The weight of the wind on dumb lips…” line at the end of the song.

Serial Kisser” – Could this song be more complicated?  There are at least 10 different “parts” in this song and yet somehow they still manage to deliver the hook over and over again.  There’s an acoustic version that soothes as much as the electric version kicks you in the teeth.

Fall” – Another song from Timing Is Everything and probably the first Over It song I ever heard.  Maybe one of the only Over It songs that’s flat-out about a girl… the lyrics are beautiful – and the guitar chords are big and splashy.

Siren on the 101” – This is the first “song” on Silverstrand (after the incredible intro – which I considered putting on this list) or the third song on Step Outside Yourself (rerecorded).  Still one of the best songs to sing with your friends in a car, and that verse riff is just so big…

City Lights” – A b-side from Silverstrand, but this is one of the catchiest songs the band ever wrote.  I always thought it was a shame that this didn’t make the album, but they finally released it as part of their b-sides and rarities compilation, The Strand.

Your Song” – Step Outside Yourself was such a strong rock record, and this song should’ve crossed over into mainstream rock radio.  It’s just so good.  The spooky falsetto in the verses is so fitting for the subject matter.  I listen to this song when I need to get over a hangover.  Works every time.

Like Satellites” –   This song always makes me a little sad because it feels like the last song the band wrote before the “hiatus” (foray into Runner Runner) as it’s the final song on their final album.  “Life is short but it takes its sweet time getting started”  Indeed.

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2 Responses to “The inevitable post about Over It.”

  1. dr. march Says:

    pete used to describe their music as “furious sounds for a hopeful future” and i always loved that. but it’s so true, and it’s testament to me how unique of a sonic plateau that really is that they reached. they truly were locked into something rare. runnerrunner bums me out, because it has so little of what made over it so much.

    and “honestly, how stoked are we” is a personal (albeit unreleased) favorite.

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