Evans The Death – Expect Delays

etdRating: ★★★★½

90’s nostalgia is fairly easy to come by these days and one of the facets in which this longing for the past has manifested itself is in a renaissance of the alt-rock of this decade. Evans The Death, comprised of young Londoners barely out of their teens, combine this nostalgia with their own twist of the present to push them past mere imitation and into something creatively different.

Immediately when you embark on Expect Delays, it’s impossible to miss the influence of 90’s alt rock that this band’s sound is so deeply steeped in, especially that of The Cranberries. The juxtaposition of Katherine Whitaker’s impossibly high vocals with the grunge guitar produces the same transfixing quality of the past, but Evans The Death do it so well that you don’t really mind. Songs like “idiot Button,” fourth up on the album, is the closest you’ll get: the soaring vocals glide atop the grounded stop and go percussion and distorted guitars to create a dichotomy of light and dark sound that is as eerily beautiful as it is haunting. Same with ever sunny “Just 60,000 More Days Till I Die,” but here the acoustic guitar part fills in where the electric guitar fades out, and Whitaker’s lyrics are chilling: “Take me to a hospital, send me back to school, something’s wrong in my world.”

But the album never feels like a cheap imitation, or merely a copycat, as the band adds in several other genres to their mix to avoid this very phenomenon. You get the post-punk and jangly rock influence as well, which this band incorporate seamlessly as well. Early on they give you “Sledgehammer,” on which Whitaker’s vocals are another elements to the noisey rock they’ve got going, using their force with added echoes to make for a dark version of jangly guitar rock. “Bad Year,” still on the first half of the album also is one of the most pop-like tracks from this band, complete with catchy choral hook and infectious guitar riffs scattered throughout. Later on the band gets heavier and heavier, with deep cut “Don’t Laugh at My Angry Face,” which is the most metal track on the album while still maintaining the grace that inherently surrounds this band.

Expect Delays is an incredibly emotive album, as Evans The Death makes music around their survival through the humdrum of modern life. They’ve managed to lift the same deep resonance of past genres and transpose this to the present and the result is quite wonderful, even if it is dark and dreary. Isn’t that the world we’re living in?


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