You know all those TV shows that tell you life as a teenager is as good as it gets? The ones that promote the freedom of being young and irresponsible as an opportunity not to be missed? This would NOT be the soundtrack to those programmes. The Wonder Years are the guts it takes to grow up without losing any of the passion or energy you had when you were younger and this is their anthem.
2. Woke Up Older
It’s addressed to a girl, it cites The Wonder Years’ favourite music and it references Bukowski. This Moose Blood blueprint is here for all to see and it was as magic-packed in 2012 as it is now.
3. My Last Semester
This track’s reeling guitars and full-pelt vocals perfectly represent the reeling feeling that comes hand in hand with living in the full-pelt 21st Century. The casual homophobia that The Wonder Years call out here is just one of the berserk characteristics of modern-day existence that we could all live without. Well done The Wonder Years for saying it out loud.
4. Came Out Swinging
The Wonder Years know that life doesn’t always go the way you want and they’re not afraid to admit it. They understand that art shouldn’t simply sugar-coat the world – yes there’s a place for that kind of stuff – but it’s probably more important that art help us to live in the world not just escape it.
5. Cigarettes & Saints
Inspired by the death of a friend, this thought-provoking heartbreaker takes on all kinds of big, whiffy cheeses such as religion and pharmaceutical companies – not for the small-minded.
6. Don’t Let Me Cave In
What’s the difference between The Wonder Years and an emo band? The Wonder Years try to hide the fact that they’re crying.
7. You’re Not Salinger. Get Over It.
Even if it wasn’t the great song that it definitely is, You’re Not Salinger… would be considered for this list purely on the basis of its excellent title. And if you’re looking for a crystallised version of The Wonder Years’ message, then here it is: “Chin up,” they sing, “we don’t let (the bad stuff) run our lives.” Seems like a good motto to us.
8. All My Friends Are In Bar Bands
This is an amazing song on so many levels and we love the fact that The Wonder Years rope in guest vocals from members of Valencia, Fireworks, A Loss For Words, Title Fight and Man Overboard to prove that indeed all their friends actually are in bar bands.
If ever there was a competition for who could fit the most emotions in one tiny three and a bit minute song, we’d put our money on The Wonder Years winning. Listening to Cardinals is like taking a walk in the snow. Inspiring.
10. Hoodie Weather
True, you could make a case for Hoodie Weather being the most depressing song ever but you could also make an equally strong argument that actually it’s totally uplifting. Again, it’s The Wonder Years coming to terms with reality and okay it’s not all glitter and rainbows but still it’s kind of perfect.