What is there to say about 90 Day Men's magnum opus To Everybody
? Well first, let me start off by saying it's an amalgamation of drawn out indie soundscapes, mathy-rock passages, and brilliant piano leads, all over layering a sultry, low-end voice that belts out some of the more obscure yet specific lyrics I've heard. 90 Day Men started out as a pure post-hardcore outfit and with To Everybody
they extend their sound to transcendant possibilities. Songs that keep pressure on the listener through dense passages that seem to navigate a lifetime; these tracks aren't destined to be written off in the first few minutes as 90 Day Men take the listener through segments that sometimes don't change for minutes on end only to shift gears immediately as if you've just been through a car accident. Time slows down on To Everybody
and that's why I compare it to the last seconds of life; the moment where everything stops and you're left with either overwhelming feelings of hope or meloncholic despair. Take the first few seconds of the album for instance, a gigantic track in "I've Got Designs On You"; dehydrated cries for help recall the most painful experiences you can imagine over a truly remarkable bassline that cruises along for minutes on end in To Everybody
fashion. "been putting this off / for a long time / did it ever cross your mind?"
says an introspective voice, as if your subconsious is speaking to you directly about this end of life that has just occured. To Everybody
is profound because what its describing is
From there, 90 Day Men make it their mission to make one of the most complete albums of the decade. As soon as Andy Lansangan's wonderful piano comes into play in "I've Got Designs On You", the songs depth and flow is increased ten fold. This is how vital Lansangan is to this record; his performance behind the piano could have easily made a solo record for his own imgination. He adds such virtuosity and prescense to 90 Day Men's sound, it truly makes the music a completely different experience altogether. His haunting introduction to "Alligator" keeps things fresh and unique in the context of the album until the rising and falling bass and vocals send the song through a disturbing chorus, only to have his majestic piano playing lead the song once again. It's a give and take of indie psychadelia and beautiful piano work that propel this into a one-of-a-kind listening journey.
As brooding and slow-moving most of To Everybody
is, "Last Night A Dj Saved My Life" works as an outcast; a tightly wound piece that starts off begging the listener to think "this is going to be another long ride". Only then does "Last Night..." change gears into a more conventional song, as your subconscious croons "I wanted to disappear / completely by choice / and sometimes I still do yeah wonder / who decides the speed our lives rotate?"
which begins what is easily the catchiest and most relatable part of the album. The chorus is groovy and unforgettable and allows the music to showcase its unreal aesthetic over a droning, catchy-as-hell vocal line. The song repeats itself twice and ends abruptly which really strikes a chord with the listener because of how different it's construction is compared to the long, boundless rest of the album.
is essentially the recording of the last moments of life, set in a drawn out indie rock opus, featuring constant, pulsing basslines, intricate yet freeing drum work, and incredible piano melodies that could lead songs on its own but doesn't have to. 90 Day Men took a different approach to this album than their post-hardcore days and it ends up being a light in the dark; a reflection of life and a complete and utter masterpiece. 5/5