Everything Everything
Mountainhead


4.2
excellent

Review

by Sunnyvale STAFF
March 4th, 2024 | 150 replies


Release Date: 03/01/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hope they need a DJ somewhere in the afterlife

Back in 2020, during the early days of the pandemic, my wife and I noticed a phrase which seemed to crop up suddenly all over the place, from advertising to small talk with acquaintances - “with everything that’s been going on”. To us, it was pretty irritating, a string of words that, seemingly by design, are so hopelessly vague as to be meaningless, even if they represent a convenient shorthand for the kind of pervasive unease and uncertainty which, then and now, seems to be ever more en vogue.

I’ve long perceived Everything Everything as the musical avatar for “with everything that’s been going on” - obviously, they were already around well before Covid-19 became a household word, but their thematic concerns have always dwelt upon quirky post-modern dissections of contemporary life - technology, loneliness, corrosive politics - you name it, it’ll be in an Everything Everything song, cloaked in lyricism both preposterous and witty. Personally, I’ve always respected the collective’s music more than I loved it, with their zany ethos and over-the-top attempts at catchiness feeling a bit much for me, even as I acknowledge the heaps of praise thrown at the Manchester band by plenty of music fans whose opinions I respect.

With that disclaimer aside, I’ve found myself drawn back to Everything Everything’s latest product, Mountainhead, again and again since its release three days ago. This doesn’t mean, though, that the band have reigned in their traditional tendencies - indeed, this new album is as shamelessly maximalist as ever. Any difference in perception, then, probably comes from my side - it’s increasingly hard to ignore that this band’s style of goofy dystopianism is (unnervingly) the sound of the times. The most obvious sign might be that a clownish former president with an unnatural skin tone is simultaneously both veering closer and closer to Nazi-style rhetoric and leading in the polls in my native country, but there's plenty to disorient the observer of current events - the old rules don't seem to apply, what’s up is down, and the unthinkable today becomes the expected tomorrow. And in this climate of more and more real-world chaos that is, indeed, often “stranger than fiction”, it seems the least we can do is enjoy some groovy bops which do their best to capture the weirdness.

And lordy, there are bops. The immediately obvious catchiness of most of this album’s fourteen songs is superlative, even compared to this band’s notable previous efforts. Songs like “Wild Guess”, “Cold Reactor”, “The Mad Stone”, “Enter The Mirror”, and “Dagger’s Edge” (yes, I exercised restraint with that list) are grandiose, feature massive hooks, and are completely unabashed about letting their absurd sides shine, while the record’s shiny production only enhances the effect. If the album sprawls towards an hour in duration and does feature a few weaker moments (“TV Dog”, at the very least, probably could’ve been cut), the large majority of the runtime is immensely entertaining. Then, in its final stages, Mountainhead takes a turn into more vibey territories, with the closing duo of “City Song” and “The Witness” displaying an urbane, Strokes-ian mood which leaves the listener more satisfied than yet another sugar rush of full-throttle pop songcraft might’ve.

Lots of artists aspire to create an album which matches the zeitgeist (easier said than done), but Mountainhead comes a lot closer than most. With its paranoid and sinister belly coalescing with the joke-y casualness of its exterior, this is yet another successful record from one of the quintessential bands of the internet age, even if this listener didn’t quite believe in their vision until now. Everything Everything throws a lot of bizarro lyricism at the wall here, and nearly everything (ha ha ha) sticks - after all, the world at large shares their penchant for absurdism more and more clearly everyday. A few years ago, I might’ve shrugged off the idea that future me would be head-bobbin’ along to soaring choruses like “I love you like an atom bomb” (“Cold Reactor”) or “we all become tomorrow’s bacon, the customer is always right” (“Dagger’s Edge”), but here we are. Looks like the 21st Century is gonna be a wild ride, folks, but let’s keep on jamming.



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user ratings (121)
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
doofy (4)
Is this peak?...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2024


5903 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

I've kept up with this band during recent album cycles because they're always good for some jams, but really didn't expect this to be one of my favorite records of the year so far.



I managed to go 208 reviews on Sput without comparing Trump and Hitler, but hey, there's a first time for everything!

Odal
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2024


2085 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome review, man.



I totally agree with your main points here. I'm not sure if there's a rock band today that better captures the times. Still need some time to figure out where this settles in their discography, but I think it's definitely on the upper end. There are some absolute heaters here

Zac124
March 4th 2024


2706 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I am currently obsessed with the first two tracks. The rest are yet to click with me tbh.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2024


32043 Comments


This review Sunny? with everything that’s been going on!?

;)

I still gotta hear this. Haven't been able to enjoy any EvEv since Night if the Long Knives.

Faraudo
March 5th 2024


4637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Fantastic record, loving it more and more after each spin.

Scoot
March 5th 2024


22205 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

get to heaven is one of the best art pop records of the last 20+ years



they are consistently good

Purpl3Spartan
March 5th 2024


8619 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Let’s gooooo great rev man



City song is fantastic

onionbubs
March 5th 2024


21052 Comments


spotify ad lookin cover lmao

jammed a few songs off raw data and they owned so i prob owe this band a proper shot

Purpl3Spartan
March 5th 2024


8619 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It looks so fire on Apple Music

onionbubs
March 5th 2024


21052 Comments


oh shit it only took until now for me to realize the dude's head is a fuckin mountain ahaha

someone
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2024


6643 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

gee onion's right, the cover does have that corporate Spotify feel to it...

dedex
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2024


12788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1 | Sound Off

yeehaw

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2024


5903 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Thanks guys!



Regarding the artwork, I'm unimpressed with it from up close, but looking at it from far away (like on my laptop screen from across the room while this album is playing) the mesh of different shades looks incredible.

anat
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2024


5755 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it is definitely intentional that the art is spotify adjacent

Demon of the Fall
March 5th 2024


33876 Comments


damn, yeah that looks far too familiar for it not to be intentional! Haha

I might check this, certainly not a 'big fan' and haven't heard much else, but Raw Data was really good

MyMentality
March 5th 2024


1471 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review! The End of the Contender is insanely addictive. Also, City Song is up there with some of their most beautiful tracks. It's lacking in 'bangers' and 'peak moments', but I'm liking the more chilled out vibes from this as an overall listen.

ChoccyPhilly
March 5th 2024


13629 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

eyyy finally got a review. So far not as punchy as RDF but still a solid release

Tunaboy45
March 5th 2024


18429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

really stunning album, keep finding a new favourite/highlight with every listen

Tunaboy45
March 5th 2024


18429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"And the bird in the shed it was looking at you, but you blew off its head because that's what we do"

DoofDoof
March 5th 2024


15089 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

very good album again...just too long by at least 10 minutes



also very enjoyable review



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