You thought you knew Evans the Death? Well, you guessed wrong, as the group are clearing changing things up for their new album, Vanilla. The core of this song is a squawking groover, although the band maintain a bit of tenacity in their punishing delivery of the chorus…leading to a complete change of direction in the latter half of the track. It’s like they’re completely re-imagining where they’re going, and it sounds brilliant. Those good people over at Fortuna Pop will be releasing the new effort on June 10th, so be sure to get at it.
It’s been a little over a year since we last heard from Evans the Death with Expect Delays, but I’m excited by the new noise the band’s brandishing with their latest single. The song takes a moment to build before blasting with that angular dance of noise and pummeling drums. Soon the vocals crash in, holding the song ransom, as if the band’s about to spin aimlessly out of control. Somehow they pull it all in, tightening the sound just enough to keep it altogether. We end up with the perfect blend pop and noise, making me all the more excited to hear their new album, Vanilla; it’s slated for release in June via Fortuna Pop.
Year-end lists are everywhere…and I can see why they’re important to people. But, seeing as we generally walk off the beaten path more often than not, our list of the Top 50 Albums of 2015 is in no particular order, save alphabetically. It seems pointless to rank one piece of art higher than another, especially when the four of us at ATH all have varying tastes. We just put this list together of the albums we loved the most this year. Are we saying they’re better than records by Grimes or Kendrick Lamar? No, we’re just saying that these are the records we loved more than others. So, you can read on for what we thought was hot.
Also…put links to individual stores where you can buy the albums from the bands…as that’s how we all survive in this music world.
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?
In the past, I think the music of Evans the Death has had an element of safety to it; it’s not that I don’t appreciate that…by any means. But the instant this guitars feedback in this new single, it was the instant I realized that these youngsters are branching out in directions I didn’t quite expect…though it’s very much welcomed. It’ll be nice to see a young group grow up, sonically before our eyes. There’s this oddity to Katherine’s voice too, not in an off-putting direction, but in the tonality that really allows her vocal performance to hold the song together. It’s another exciting reason to look forward to the band’s new LP, Expect Delays…being issued by Slumberland and Fortuna Pop on March 10th.
Evans The Death, if you haven’t heard of them, are a group of indie rockers currently from London who are at the cusp of putting out their sophomore record. Expect Delays is expected to come out March 10th of next year on Slumberland Records, but you can have a listen to the track below right this instant. “Don’t Laugh At My Angry Face” starts with a ton of feedback and continues this trend with guttural guitars and precision pauses before the song really hits its stride. Then the percussion just hits with waves of cymbals as the band takes you through with their stop-and-go tune. This song will melt your face off. In the best way. Listen.
It’s really hard to narrow down a list of Top Albums of 2012, especially when you have four contributors with different opinions. We gave the reins to Nathan.Lankford and Nicole Baumann on this one, since they write the majority of the album reviews, but we all have a little representation within this. Now, we do realize that our site has specialized tastes, so please realize that these are our OPINIONS. You’re welcome to disagree, and, in fact, we encourage that process. Also, we’re doing a Top 100 because so many records came out this year, it wouldn’t be fair to narrow it down. Not to mention it might lead you to discover some hits you hadn’t heard about yet. Oh, and we don’t really like Frank Ocean or hip-hop…just a personal choice…here’s the first segment.
When you sit down to put a Slumberland Records release on the old turntable, you’re pretty much assured that you’ll find some sort of comfort or joy within the various revolutions. But, when I put on the self-titled debut of London quintet, Evans the Death, I had no idea that it would bring an abundance of vibrant joy my way; it’s all over the place in the best way, and every individual will have his or her own favorite jam.
Don’t let that bubbling bass line that opens the record’s “Bo Diddley” fool you. If you wait a few minutes, you’ll see the star of the band is clearly Katherine Whitaker. Her soaring vocals clearly transcend the music itself, and its affect is almost immediate; at times it comes off punky, other times pristine–this is just the first track. But, let’s not make her the sole reason your buying this album!
“Catch Your Cold,” the second track on Evans the Death is the song that really lets the band’s prowess seep into your ears. Those ringing guitars played at lightning fast speeds give you that classy indie pop sound we all adore, and companied with Whitaker’s darkly-tinged vocals, it’s just a brilliant track. You’ll find it in similar territory as the group’s first single from the release, “Telling Lies,” which might just be the most unassuming smash hit of the year. While the rest of the group has this jagged approach to their guitar playing, Whitaker has your head spinning about with her remarkably strong pipes.
Surely, you’ll notice that a great deal of this first effort from Evans the Death is full of upbeat numbers, but, what makes this a more than adequate debut are the mellower numbers stuck within, leading you away from the monotony. “Morning Voice,” while holding onto some noisier elements, is largely a quiet song, if only in sentiment. Katherine comes across in an entirely different manner than she’s been presented up to this point, seemingly frail beneath those gentle vocal touches. The more I played this track, the further I fell for it–you probably will too. You’ll encounter similar circumstances when you wrap up the record with “You’re Joking.” It’s a lightly strummed closing track, again putting Whitaker prominently at the forefront of the band’s sound. There’s not louder guitar bursting forth here, but it’s not needed here, as the emotional quality lays solely with their female leader.
For a debut, this is a pretty stellar release, as the band comes across extremely accomplished with a powerful leader at the helm. You can look beyond some of the songs that have a tendency to sound similar, choosing to find the unique qualities lurking within. With more time, the whole record eventually sinks in together, leaving you with an enjoyable album you’ll want to play over and over. We can thank Evans the Death for that.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/05-Telling-Lies.mp3]
Download:Evans the Death – Telling Lies [MP3]
There’s very few labels that have been as dependable as Slumberland Records over the last few years, and they’ve signed yet another wunderkind in Evans the Death. On April 3rd the band will be releasing their new self-titled album, as well as a single. We’ve got the lead track below to stream, so prepare yourself for an excellent ride. Energy bursts forth from the get-go, and we’ve got a new female lead in Katherine Whitaker. Her vocals sound sublime backed by the melodious hooks of the rest of the group. Let’s cheer on Slumberland and their newest signing![audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/05-Telling-Lies.mp3]