We can hardly get on our high horse about plodding, unnecessary, retrospective pub-rock, considering the state of some of the British indie bands currently plying their trade in the charts, but modern Australian bands… they’re not really very good, are they? The Vines weren’t half bad, but then imploded. Wolfmother make a decent racket, but are hardly the most original pups in the world.
No doubt you’ll have one, maybe two, bands you can retort to that with - Cut Copy being a prime example - and of course it’s a gross generalisation to say that Aussie rock bands are in a rut. But this latest album by Even is doing absolutely nothing to help the cause. In short, this self-titled fifth album is a chronic disappointment.
It’s all fairly likeable. There are some good choruses. The production quality is excellent: guitars set to ‘crunch’ and just the right amount of fuzz on the layered vocals to add retro charm. The influences are classic: the Stones, the Beatles, and then the bands they spawned, especially the likes of the Stone Roses. So what’s the problem? Well, all of that and more.
This is an album that sweeps by in the background but rarely snags your full attention. It’s very nice, very palatable, and it’s delivered with panache. But ultimately it’s a dull record, with each song revealing its intentions within the first minute and then droning on for another three, in tired, heard-it-before patterns. This formula can only work if those intentions are spot on and catchy as hell. So opener ‘I Am The Light’ is quality, and the blues swagger of ‘Sister Rock’ briefly widens the horizons. Yet the respective tracks that follow those two - ‘Only One’ and ‘Tangled Up’ - go nowhere of any interest whatsoever.
Overall, this is boring, one-dimensional music that works in one context and one context alone: cranked up loud in a watering hole when you’re several pints into the evening and content to shimmy to anything with a basic tune and bass line.
5Mike Haydock's Score