Evans Blue
The Melody...


4.5
superb

Review

by Alex Richmond USER (10 Reviews)
January 21st, 2013 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Evans Blue's first release makes for one of the most emotional experiences in the rock music genre.

Band: Evans Blue
Album: The Melody and the Energetic Nature of Volume



I'll start this review by just saying that this was my favorite album for a couple years, until I discovered Brand New's The Devil and God... . And that alone goes a long way in describing my taste in music. My favorite albums are those that really hit me emotionally and don't let go. And that was exactly what I needed when I discovered The Melody...

The album kicks off with A Cross and a Girl Named Blessed, and it establishes within the first minute what is to come with the remaining songs. There are going to be plenty of simple, well-executed guitar riffs, with palm muting in the choruses. The drums are going to drive the music as much as it can. And singer Kevin Matisyn is going to belt out melodramatic lyrics with his unique and dynamic voice. So why bother listening to the music if it's going to be so predictable. Well for most rock bands, predictability becomes a crux that makes many listeners lose interest.

Evans Blue is aware of this fact, and they cut down the repeating parts in the songs to a point that the songs never feel like they're truly getting repetitive. Even in the opening track, the bridge alternates between muted guitars and accentuated drum fills before returning to the chorus. The same song ends on a heavy double bass rhythm, showing what the band is capable of in dramatic fashion. These small changes in structure and dynamics are evident in several of the songs, notably Dark That Follows, The Promise and the Threat, and Quote.

The music is enjoyable and appropriate in most of the songs, but where the album really shines is in the lyrics and vocal performance by Kevin Matisyn. His voice could turn some listeners away; so could Thom York's or Jeff Mangum's. Given a chance Matisyn doesn't waste any time explaining to the audience what he's singing about. The Melody... is about falling into love quickly and coping with all the scars that it leaves. The lyrics might as well be straight from phone calls and emails between the two in the relationship. For instance, "Can't you see that this is death and death/Is saving me/I say burn all of your bridges/While you still have control of the flame," (Over). Such lyrics may appear lazy in one respect, as if the lyrics were written with only the intention to appear deep, as many bands who claim to have emotional depth do. But save for a few songs (the first and last tracks as well as their cover of Possesion), the album never wavers from this lyrical depth.

The passion in Matisyn's voice and the slowing evolution in the instrumentals continue from song to song, slowly building up. Beg describes the realization that things are falling apart and the desperation of trying to mend everything, going so far as to say ask, "Have cheap hotels lost their turn on?" The pain reaches a peak when the song reaches its end, and he's left asking, "For how long?" Dark that Follows never shows a hint of optimism, an accurate depiction of the depression state of grief. Matisyn starts crying out, "you're dead inside of me," pushing away against everything that brings back the memories. But he can't truly let go until the story's beautifully woven finale, Quote. In the song, Matisyn recalls different instances where he noticed the relationship was destined to fail. As he's moving on to accept the finality of this ordeal, he finally sees everything from a more mature and rational perspective. The song finally ends the story in much the same way that Stop and Say You Love Me began it, making for effective bookends.

Possession, the Sarah McLachlan cover, changes the song drastically. An interesting effect on the lead guitar provides an atmospheric quality in the verses, while the choruses are fully electric in the same vein as the rest of the album (with nice background vocals by Tara MacLean). It's a nice to touch to the album, although it adds very little and is easily forgettable within the scope of the other songs. The same can be said about the album closer, The Tease. Matisyn confessed in an interview that the band came together with less than two weeks before the record was due and just put together that song. It's doesn't have the same dark vibe that can be found in the rest of the songs, but that also makes it an effective final song on the album.

As a whole, The Melody... flows very well, progressing into deeper yet innocent way of examining the modern youthful romantic relationship. At a dark time in someone's life (such as my own when I discovered Evans Blue), the album is eerily relatable in its lyrical content. There aren't any new musical ideas here, and no lyrical ones outside of Quote. But the collection of strong rock ideas mixed with Matisyn's intriguing vocal performance makes for a truly unique emotional experience.


Pros:
+ Incredibly believable vocal performance
+ Interesting guitar effects and layered vocals
+ Original and well-rounded drum

Cons:
- Some of the songs come off as generic (Cold and The Tease)
- Kevin Matisyn has a love it or hate it type of voice. Some listeners made find it whiny, while some may find it incredibly passionate. This is just a matter of taste

Recommended songs: A Cross and a Girl Named Blessed, Beg, Dark that Follows, Quote



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Comments:Add a Comment 
TheSupernatural
January 21st 2013


1298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This album still means a lot to me and the other review was a track-by-track that didn't analyze any of it. Maybe this is just my way of practicing my writing skills, on a topic that I know plenty about.

benkim
January 21st 2013


2190 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good album. They killed the band when they kicked Kevin out in the process stripping the band of everything that made them close to unique. You need to mention Ecclipsed among the best songs, you just need to.

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
January 21st 2013


8026 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The Pursuit kicks the shit outta this but still a good album

TheSupernatural
January 21st 2013


1298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I agree with them killing the band when they kicked Kevin out. I still follow the band today and I'd still see them if they come to my town, but the music just doesn't compare. I actually like The Pursuit Begins... better than this (that one would probably get a 4.5 from me), but this one means a lot to me.

Also, do I haaave to put Eclipsed? I do like the song but suggesting 5/11 tracks seems a bit redundant. The Tease is the only song on here that I really can't get into anymore.

TheSupernatural
January 21st 2013


1298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Also Painted is the band's best song, I consider it their equivalent of Brand New's Limousine.

breakingthefragile
January 21st 2013


2966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice 2006 review. You don't need to put the band and album name in the review, it
appears on the site. You should avoid track by tracks reviews in the future as well,
because they usually distract from your overall verdict of the album in general, but
you're pretty descriptive here, so it's decently done. Also, if you're gonna highlight
track names, use italics because bold just looks like shit. Another thing, you really
need to work on how you word what you're trying to say, a lot of the time it reads
very awkwardly and seems as if you really can't find the right words to describe
anything. This kind of reads like a fanboy review too, you get way out of hand with
statements like "one of the most emotional experiences in the rock genre". But you
got passion and it shows, so props for that.

Digging: Molly Drake - Molly Drake

DotEight
January 21st 2013


5643 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

5's? Holy shit. This band is mediocre at best. Eclipsed and Beg are the only decent songs.

TheSupernatural
January 21st 2013


1298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

@Breaking People on here review albums they see as classic all the time on Sputnik. And yes, it's a
shameless fanboy review.

@Doteight It's a mediocre genre, but the band excels in it. The 5 is a personal rating. Every song
on here just connected with me when I first listened to it. I can't find any objective reason to
give it more than a 4, but it is deserving that.

Just for kicks I'll rank the songs since I don't believe either Eclipsed or Beg are the best.

Dark That Follows
Quote
Beg
A Cross and a Girl Named Blessed
The Promise and the Threat
Eclipsed
Stop and Say You Love Me
Over
Cold
Possession
The Tease


I guess it comes down to people rating the genre versus actually rating the music. I don't like rock
nearly as much as I used to, and I don't consider Evans Blue my favorite band (that's Thrice). But
the album still means a lot to me and I believe it does warrant a 5 from a personal standpoint. I
know most people don't feel that same connection, and that's fine.

breakingthefragile
January 21st 2013


2966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Uh, when did I say that you couldn't do review of an album you see as classic? I never said that. Though you don't back up your rating at all, just in case you're wondering.

TheSupernatural
January 21st 2013


1298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I assumed the "nice 2006 review" was sarcastic. Do you mean I don't back up the 4 rating in the review or I don't back up my personal rating of a 5?

breakingthefragile
January 21st 2013


2966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It was sarcastic, but it wasn't reffering to it being a review with a classic rating. I was
talking about how it looked like a sputnik review from 2006 with the band and
album name in bold at the top of the review, the track names in bold, the pros and
cons section at the bottom, the recommended songs section, that and the fact that
it's basically a track by track review. You should have at least looked around the site
at recent reviews to see what the typical format was. Btw, there's no need to
randomly justify your tastes in other music before the review begins. No one cares,
and it just seems like you're trying to say "Don't worry guys, I like Brand New's The
Devil and God, which is an album most of the site loves, so I'm not some fanboy
who only likes radio rock because I'm giving a post-grunge album a 4/5."

And yeah, the fact that you rated it a 5 but wrote a 4 review can get confusing in
conveying how you really feel in the review, especially when you state very few cons.

TheSupernatural
January 21st 2013


1298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I've looked around the site a bunch, trust me. I've seen plenty of different formats, and this is one that I'm fond of. The only criticisms I've ever heard about this album are that Kevin's voice is too whiny and that the lyrics sound like something you'd read in a teenage girl's diary. I'm definitely not the only person here to give albums different personal ratings than I do for the reviews.

Also, it's clearly not a track-by-track review. I do my best to go through the album as one would listen to it, but that's a far cry from actually listing each song, describing them, and giving them individual ratings (which is exactly what the other review is).

TheSupernatural
January 21st 2013


1298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Typical story: some guy love an album/band that is considered mediocre on Sputnik. He writes earnest review in familiar formatting like so many reviews on the site. And he gets flamed.

breakingthefragile
January 21st 2013


2966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As I already said, you do a much better track by track review than usual, it's well done because your descriptions flow into each other. Though I shouldn't really call it a track by track review even though the format is along the same lines, it's kind of like a walkthrough review actually. And I'm just saying, the way you write your praise for this album makes this review read like a 5/5 review anyway, so you might as well have gone ahead and given it that rating.

breakingthefragile
January 21st 2013


2966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lol. Okay so, I guess me giving you fair and detailed criticisms of your writing so you can improve in the future is considered flaming by you huh? Fuck off dude.

TheSupernatural
January 21st 2013


1298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Well thank you.

I'll probably be writing another review this week with that advice in mind.

RoderickINM
January 21st 2013


12 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review; a lot better than the other one on this site. I've used to dig a little on this band
short time ago and agree on Matisyn's unusual, even authentic way to write a sing, something that is
missing on the most recent albums by the band.
"Beg", "Cold (But I'm Still Here)", "A Cross and a Girl Named Blessed" and "Stop and Say You Love Me"
are great tracks on this. Also "Possession" and "Dark that Follows" are great...
Not so personal to me, and neither so great, but the aforementioned songs really deserve some
attention. Pretty enjoyable album; a little repetitive, but nice for a debut! Sophomore is better...

Pos'd



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