Spokes
Everyone I Ever Met


4.5
superb

Review

by Eric USER (161 Reviews)
January 26th, 2011 | 117 replies | 16,027 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Far removed from pimples and puberty, coming of age has never been so beautiful

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

It doesn’t take long to figure out that Everyone I Ever Met is orchestrated in a different vein than Spokes’ rookie EP, People Like People Like You. Risks have been taken, and mind you, these aren’t “risks” like we normally think of them. People Like People Like You was a fairly conventional post-rock EP, but this description belies its beauty. Poor Spokes watched from outside the lines as less-worthy post-rockers enjoyed oodles more fame than they. With soaring violins and condensed song lengths, Spokes crafted a mellifluous Shortcut to Enjoying Post-Rock. Somehow the Englishmen crammed the magic of every spellbinding post-rock record you’ve heard into a delightfully accessible package. Three years later, Spokes sound bent on transforming this winning formula, and unexpectedly it pays off.

Spokes come to age on Everyone I Ever Met; not by taking risks and turning their sophomore record into an inaccessible-as-Antarctica masterpiece, but by doing the opposite. Spokes take hints from their contemporaries. The main backbone of spiraling guitar lines, minimalist passages with solitary piano, and sweeping violin are all apparent, but its the new facets that give the album momentum and splendor. And trust me, there’s a shortage of neither. Nods to their peers abound, Spokes are all the better for incorporating lovably off-kilter melodies reminiscent of Mew, the wistful folkiness of Fleet Foxes, and even an Arcade Fire-esque chest-beating, anthemic chorus in “We Can Make It Out.” The noisy intro of “Torn Up In Praise” is probably the biggest surprise among surprises, but a welcome one at that. Perhaps the most monumental jump in sound though, besides the fact that the LP is much more chorus and melody driven, resides with the vocals. On People Like People Like You, vocals were another instrument to add to atmosphere, mostly in the background, and used sparsely. The vocals are a mainstay, and while not uniquely powerful, are always tonality-blessed and graceful enough to add to Spokes’ aura of wide-eyed exuberance on Everyone I Ever Met.

I could point to aspect after aspect where Spokes differentiate Everyone from their debut astounding mini album and come out on top anyway; but it’d be a bit futile, their 2011 effort is confident enough to stand alone, comparisons aside. Cynical listeners will undoubtedly hear Arcade Fire rip-offs or Broken Social Scene copy/pasting where they want to, but they’re missing the point. Imitator or not, Spokes constructs moments on Everyone I Ever Met more spectacular than that of their influences, and there’s something to be said for that.

The album has a sort of milk-shake consistency, thick and full, but fluid and free-flowing. At times Spokes stroll dangerously close to the brim of “lethargic” or “tepid,” but they always catch themselves before going over the edge. It switches between moods and tempos freely and often, but the flux is never jolting. Long story short-- every likely danger that Spokes confronted with Everyone, they’ve avoided with grace.

The ever-obvious beauty of Everyone I Ever Met lies in the fact that it’s just as inclusive as its namesake. In incorporating a plethora of influences, they’ve opened themselves up to more fanfare rather than alienating purists, a tough act to balance. What I find astounding is that the affair is in no way transitional. Mishmashes of genres and influences risk the chance of coming off half-baked or unnatural, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth with Spokes. The spacious, gleeful album is epic in an entirely different way than the conventional post-rock structure of People Like People Like You, but only impresses more because of it. Skill was apparent on their debut, but Everyone I Ever Met matches the skill with maturity and novelty that Spokes embody in a spacious, percussion-driven record. Coming of age has never seemed so beautiful.



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user ratings (56)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
SeaAnemone
January 26th 2011



18752 Comments


I'll probably edit this hopefully... the review seems kind of awkward and I have a lot to say about it but not sure how...

this is more just the case of me wanting to get the word out about this awesome album.

Romulus
January 26th 2011



8371 Comments


very nice review. i'll definitely check this out at some point

ConsiderPhlebas
January 26th 2011



6157 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Never realised they were English. Can't wait to hear this.

SeaAnemone
January 26th 2011



18752 Comments


Yeah you both really should...

to be honest I don't know if you'd like it as much as I (probably not) but at this point I can't find very much as far as opinions on this so I'm fishing for some more

couldwinarabbit
January 26th 2011



6996 Comments


This is really excellent. Though it really sounds like the arcade fire.

Knott-
Emeritus
January 26th 2011



10193 Comments


Yeah this is more Arcade-Fire-y than it is post-rock-y.

From the first song it sounds fantastic, though.

SeaAnemone
January 26th 2011



18752 Comments


thanks for reading guys!


and their last one, which I love dearly if you didn't get that from the review haha, is 100% post-rock so I was probably a little too hung up on that when listening to this... if that makes sense.

Kiran
Emeritus
January 26th 2011



5992 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

looking forward to this

one thing though: you don't need to repeat the album title so many times in the review.
e.g.

Here, the vocals are a mainstay, and while not uniquely powerful, are always tonality-blessed and graceful enough to add to Spokes’ aura of wide-eyed exuberance on Everyone I Ever Met.

you don't need to add the last bit because you've already said 'here' when linking it from the comparison

good review as usual though buddy

kanecooper
January 26th 2011



630 Comments


sounds good. never got round to listening to their ep but i'll give this a go eventually

SeaAnemone
January 26th 2011



18752 Comments


thanks kir, you're right... I kinda wrote this sentence-by-sentence and it came out like that

BigTuna
January 26th 2011



5151 Comments


mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Digging: EMA - The Future's Void

SeaAnemone
January 26th 2011



18752 Comments


so... where do I apply to start a hype train?

Nach0
January 27th 2011



46 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One of the best so far this year

SeaAnemone
January 27th 2011



18752 Comments


That's what I like to hear!

couldwinarabbit
January 27th 2011



6996 Comments


album is super awesome. It is like what I wanted the suburbs to be.

DoubtGin
January 27th 2011



6684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yea, this rules pretty much. I am loving the piano in "Happy Needs Colour".

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 27th 2011



23606 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hmmmmmmmmmmm

I think I shall acquire this album. I'm not gonna lie though, when I saw a 4 star Sea review on the front page I was a little disappointed to click and realize it's not skramz. good review though, obvs

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

Calculate
January 27th 2011



1135 Comments


I can already tell this is gunna rule!

Skimaskcheck
January 27th 2011



2360 Comments


nice stuff

definitely getting this now, PLPLY was cool

Tyrael
January 27th 2011



20394 Comments


Nice review, I have to check this out.

Digging: Lantlos - Melting Sun



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