Review Summary: If nothing else, Everybody Else is a record that musicians are bound to love, whatever’s on the radio at the time.“I remember you, so remember me, as I was back then, in my ripped blue jeans.”
Sounds like a quote from a River Phoenix movie, right?
This comma-happy quote is taken from the chorus of LA power trio Everybody Else’s ‘In Memoriam.’ It neatly sums up the band’s ethos: simplistic, easily relatable and melodic to fu
ck. Everybody Else do the simple thing better than almost anybody- that is to say they’re far more intricate than you’ll
ever realise- and as if to prove the point, they named themselves after a Kinks b-side, ‘I’m Not Like Everybody Else’ (backing ‘Sunny Afternoon.) And though Everybody Else could never be accused of anything like unrestrained innovation, with impeccable tastes ranging from the classic 60s pop of Ray Davies and The Beatles through Motown and Stax to power pop giants The Raspberries and The Romantics, they’re not afraid of putting themselves up against lofty opposition- the loftiest, even.
The band’s main selling point, as with any good pop band, is their sense of melody, and the arrangements are designed to exploit that. The songs are instrumentally sparse, and interesting textures are preferred to individual flourishes. All three members of the band sing; frontman Carrick Moore Gerety (literally “Big Rock” Gerety - how perfect a name is that? Sounds like he missed the Dead Boys auditions to spend the morning passed out on a railway line or something) has a boyish, soul-infused voice that’s reminiscent of Butch Walker or a young Paul McCartney doing Little Richard (check out the ‘Long Tall Sally’-like rasp on ‘Meat Market’). Bassist Austin Williams and drummer Mikey McCormack add harmonies throughout, from Beatles-like violining effect in ‘Rich Girls, Poor Girls,’ Beach Boys-style falsetto harmonies in the same song, and the three-part doo-wop bassline from ‘Makeup.’
‘Meat Market’ is the energetic opener, setting the pace for the album with a laid-back hand-clap beat and playfully misogynistic lyrics. Recalling early Marvelous 3, Gerety shouts, “Instead of falling in love like that, you should be knocking on my heart,”
adding, after he’s made his case, “so what’s your number, little girl?”
‘Born To Do’ and ‘I Gotta Run’ carry shades of Phantom Planet and Matchbox 20 respectively, but the majority of the tracks are backward-looking in their influences. ‘Makeup’ borrows the “do do do”
line from Lou Reed’s ‘Walk On The Wildside’ and recasts it as the lead in a Motown musical about teenage insecurity and closing ballad ‘Alone In The World’ references U2 as it lifts the bassline from the Spencer Davis Group’s ‘Gimme Some Lovin’.’ ‘Rich Girls, Poor Girls’ showcases Gerety’s slack-jawed Elvis Costello impersonation to great effect, singing, “rich girls, poor girls, I just can’t decide!”
and the brilliant tempo-shifting ballad ‘In Memoriam’ captures the feel of the early power-pop groups through gratuitous use of reverb and elegant cymbal-rolls.
is everything a good pop record should be. Understated and cleverly produced, it’s stripped of all excess ornamentation, allowing the melodies and the songwriting to do the talking. So if nothing else, Everybody Else
is a record that musicians are bound to love, whatever’s on the radio at the time.