The Intelligence – Everybody’s Got It Easy But Me

Rating: ★★★★☆

It’s been almost two years since Males, the last record from the Intelligence came out, so I of course welcomed a return to the fold with Everybody’s Got It Easy But Me (In the Red Records).  It’s all over the place, in the best way possible of course, giving listeners everything you need to enjoy listening to an album from start to finish.

Listening to “I Like LA,” the album’s opener, I feel as if group leader Lars is having a pleasant go with the listener, slowly introducing himself to the world all over again; for the most part, it is an introductory type song, that is until the band joins him in a heavy-handed rocking until the end.  Oddly, it’s the diversity of this track that really sets the scene for the rest of Everybody’s Got It Easy But Me. Just as soon as you think you have the feel for what the group’s doing, you get the jittery “Hippy Provider;” it’s short and jagged, but it’s the sort of song you expect to see hordes of fans pogoing about in their favorite club.

It all seems like fun and games for the Intelligence, until you arrive at “Techno Tuesday,” the group’s latest single.  It’s not your conventional hit, but I feel that it is one of the more accessible tracks the group’s written to date; the heavy strumming with Finberg’s vocals floating over is perfect for fan’s of early Shins–even has a similar bounce.  It’s similar to the garage ballad that comes later via “Little Town Flirt,” which is a Del Shannon cover–it also features Shannon (of Clams and Hunx/Punx fame).  Throwing these sorts of mellower tunes definitely propels the record’s longevity, breaking things up for the audience.

Of course the meat and potatoes of Everybody’s Got It Easy But Me has to be the edgy rock leaning of the band.  You’ll find it lurking in the stylistic approaches of all the songs, but the power lives in songs like “(They Found Me in the Back of) the Galaxy.  While it starts off with a similar riff (one of my few complaints about the record), the guitar work throughout provides a sense of creativity and juxtaposition, all the while sounding as tight as you’ve heard the group.  These are the sort of attributes the Intelligence is known for, and they’re exhibited left and right on this effort.

By the end you’ll find yourself with two long-ish jams, with “Fidelity” remaining my personal favorite. Sure, the lyrics define some of the heartbreak Lars has endured, but the emotional quality of the song supersedes the thematic element.  Eventually, it blasts off into sort of a cacophonous melody, hopefully highlighting a transcendence for Mr. Finberg.  It’s precisely the type of bookend you need for a great record, again recapping the diversity that lives within.  Everybody’s Got It Easy But Me is filled with artful rock n’ roll, but there’s enough of a mixture that moves the group beyond falling into the trap of sounding too redundant.  I’m sure after your first listen, you’ll feel the same.


Download:The Intelligence – (They Found Me In The Back Of) The Galaxy [MP3]

Also, if you want an excellent read on Lars’ thoughts on the album, had over to Finest Kiss for a great interview/explanation now!

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