Review Summary: These Philadelphia noodling heroes can still write some good songs but seem to have forgotten how to construct a cohesive album.
Everyone Everywhere’s second LP has some great expectations to live up to. Their self-titled debut LP debut from 2010 is an exemplary piece of work, showcasing the best that the current emo revival has to offer. It’s a fun and interesting album that delivers a cohesive yet varied collection of songs. Their new album is also entitled Everyone Everywhere, but unfortunately with 2012 tacked awkwardly on the end. Seriously guys, that’s the best you could come up with? The album’s cover doesn’t really fit the band’s image or music either. A photo reminiscent of a turn-of-the century wonder shot of a national park doesn’t quite gel with a band hailing from Philadelphia playing rock music. An outdoorsy, folksy record this is not.
But perhaps I’m being too harsh. After all, an old adage says, “Don’t judge a book by its cover (or title apparently).” So how about the music itself? The album doesn’t quite deliver on the high expectations endeared by their first LP. The songs vary from great to boring. The track ordering isn’t too flattering to these songs, with the longest track leading off the album and the three most flat, dull tracks closing out the album. It results in the album sounding a lot longer than it actually is.
To its credit, opening track “I Feel Exhausted” is one of the catchier numbers on the album. Starting out slow, it builds until it takes off sprinting at the three-minute mark, fascinating with one of their trademark noodling riffs. “Queen Mary II” is up next, for my money the best song on the album. There’s no break in this song, with the riffage absolutely sprinting against a series of deadpan notes. The track closes with a barrage of horns, which are always a welcome addition to their sound. “The Future” starts a worrying trend. While mildly interesting, more for it’s lyrics than it’s meager guitar playing, the track plods along for three minutes before moving on.
This leads me to the center of the album, a re-recorded version of “Turn and Go And Turn”. It was a great closer on their first album, but I fail to understand why it is back on this album. It barely differs from its earlier incarnation, eliminating the explanation that perhaps the band felt it could improve on it. It simply doesn’t fit in with the rest of the album, sporting a different sound and energy from all the other songs. I remain completely baffled as to why it’s on the album, but it is a good song so I can’t complain all that much.
“Fervor & Indifference In The Bicameral Brain” is one hell of a cool track title, and is the most musically interesting song present. It introduces banjo (I think) to the bands repertoire and it sounds wonderful closing the track out. Then we get to the final three songs. They each sport a decent hook in their own right, either vocally or melodically. But they keep a middling tempo that plods along, never exciting the listener or providing a memorable moment. The listener simply has to work too hard to enjoy these songs. They miss the band’s trademark urgency, an energy that would make these songs a lot more engaging.
Everyone Everywhere can still write exceptional hooks and songs. Sadly it seems like they forgot how to piece together a coherent album. It misses the trademark liveliness and flow that marked their first album. The album has enough bright points to rescue it somewhat, but the band is certainly capable of much better work.