Sometimes it is fairly easy to predict whether a band will explode onto the scene with a rapidly growing fanbase or fade into obscurity along with thousands upon thousands of others who reach their peak and simply can't push past that next breaking point, where a band can be considered firmly established. Evaline, surprisingly, has dangled over the edge of this precipice in spite of an incredibly powerful EP that even has some star power behind it; the CD was produced by none other than Quinn Allman, well-known guitarist for The Used. So why exactly has Evaline remained largely unnoticed? That I can't answer, but I can tell you that it is not for a lack of creative and powerful musical ability.
Postpartum Modesty. A Portrait of Skin has shades of a band struggling to pull itself free of a scene that doesn't quite fit it. Every once in a while, Evaline falls into the musical stagnancy of their peers and loses sight of what makes this EP an interesting listen, but for the most part they succeed not only at escaping this but also at sonically stomping on all those struggling to match them. There are many bands that claim to bring something new to the frustratingly unidentifiable genres that fill up sites like Myspace and Purevolume, and the majority of these bands are just flat out lying. Evaline on the other hand, seems confident that their unique flavor will be apparent to those who listen and fortunately, it is. The difficulty comes in describing what exactly this flavor is. One listen through the album will bring to mind numerous other bands including, unavoidably, The Used, but also incredibly different bands such as Coldplay (listen to the introduction of "La De Da"), The Receiving End of Sirens, or even poppier bands like Armor For Sleep. The influences of these styles are apparent in the music, but there is another element here that helps Evaline separate their EP from the rest.
Perhaps it's the interesting variation in vocals, from soft to loud, smooth to harsh; it is almost impossible to predict how the singer, Richard Perry, will choose to pronounce and project the next set of lyrics. This means that the one thing you will never get bored of when listening to Evaline is the singer's voice, which oftentimes can be the main thing that steers people clear of a band. Although the band stays mostly within the context of a standard band set of instruments (guitar, bass, and drums), they briefly incorporate other sounds in a few places, and also constantly alter the tones and effects on the instruments, most specifically the guitars, to create a sonic landscape that never gets tiring. The rhythmic changes in the music are also worth noting; Evaline seems to nearly have reached a perfect understanding of when to slow the pace to let the wavering guitar lines and melodies drive the song and when to hand the reigns over to the brutal power of what cannot be called anything other than straight-up rock (listen to the choruses of "La De Da" and "Calm Touching," if they don't make you want to bang your head around then I don't know what will).
This understanding, however, is what also proves to be the weakness of their EP. Evaline has clearly established their own somewhat-innovative sound, but seem to not quite have found the equation for perfectly combining their parts. This band has all the makings of the next band just under the mainstream radar that everyone loves, but it just may take a full-length to prove that. If these six songs are any sign of what's to come, then trust me, you should be hopping on this bandwagon now.
1. La De Da
2. Calm Touching
3. Where The Fearless Hide
4. Postpartum Modesty
5. Write Your Pretentious Squalls (Off Again)
6. A Protest in Lines Too Thin to Read
Richard Jonathan Perry - Vocals / Keys / Cello
Christian Lewis - Guitar
Dominic Di Ciano - Guitar
Steven Pederson - Bass / Synths
great review I really enjoy this band cannot wait for a full lenght as well. As much as I enjoy this ep it can get a lil repetitive at times but that doesn't that anything away from the greatness that is Evaline!
I really liked this review, it was fair yet very accurate. I've been listening to evaline since last year when the ep came out and ive loved them ever since. this is by far some of the best music i have listened to. their lyrics could be a little stronger but musically they are very talented. ive listened to this ep probably 100 times and it never gets old. im waiting for the LP to drop because these guys have what it takes.
I've been listening to this band for years. check them out under Holiday (www.purevolume.com/holiday) it's there stuff from when they were younger. this band also has soooo many b-sides and other songs that did not mak this album. if you can find any of it, don;t be scared to listen. it's all incredible.
also, their musicianship reminds of Circa a bit. with the experimentation of the pedals and guitars.
Evaline definately took me by surprise. They have very energetic shows, and a very unique sound. I agree though, that their "flavor" is very dificult to indentify. The fact that no one knows these very telented and creative artists is a shock, but with the release of a full LP, they should rise in no time. of course, they were at one point signed with Warner, and now, before any new songs, their myslace says they are unsigned. =/ Good luck to them though.