By Ryan Asselin
“This week is going to swallow me,” sings The Wonder Years frontman Dan “Soupy” Campbell on “Living Room Song,” from the album Suburbia I’ve Given You My All and Now I’m Nothing, “but when it spits me out, I’m landing on my feet.”
With suicidal thoughts and battles with depression plaguing much of the band’s early years, Campbell and The Wonder Years are finally evolving past the barriers that once held them back and changing their sound. Back in 2007, when the band released their first album, Get Stoked On It!, the band’s true colors were hidden behind comically-named songs about things like zombies, pirates, ninjas, and Captain Crunch. The songs have serious meanings behind them, but self-consciousness made Campbell feel the need to present them as a joke.
In 2008, The Wonder Years hit a turning point, releasing Won’t Be Pathetic Forever. The Wonder Years more comfortably grew past their trademark song-long jokes and started to develop the unique sound that they had experimented with on previous records.
After Won’t Be Pathetic Forever, the band’s sound changed again. Now more mature, with fewer high-pitched keyboards comprising the background of their songs, The Wonder Years’ sound has changed as they have reached an unexpected level of comfort in their music.
Campbell became more stable and comfortable with the life he has. With slight success on the billboards and some published poetry, Campbell has adjusted and learned to live and enjoy life.
It may be overwhelming at times going from playing in front of twenty kids to one thousand, but that doesn’t stop The Wonder Years, who have toured the United States as well as Europe and Australia. This small Philadelphia band is finally making it big.
Their upcoming tour, with Fireworks, Hostage Calm, and Misser, starts with two sold out shows in Ashbury Park and Pawtucket before the bands come to the Upstate Concert Hall (formerly known as Northern Lights) in Clifton Park, NY, twenty minutes away from Union College.
Featuring Fireworks and Misser, both of whom sound similar to The Wonder Years, the upcoming spring tour looks to be a very exciting and crowd-friendly string of concerts nationwide. This tour will really spread the word about the featured bands.
Campbell and The Wonder Years have given their all to the music, but in return will forever been immortalized by the songs they make. Although there is comfort in consistency, change is not always a bad thing. Sometimes, change brings comfort as well.