ALBUM REVIEW: Everything Everything – Man Alive
The Manchester-based band Everything Everything have made a cracker of a debut album. Seriously. Even with a major label behind them, (Geffen in this case) Everything Everything are a band that you should most definitely embrace. The album opens almost predictably (and wisely) with their latest single, My KZ Ur BF, a brilliant, brilliant song. It sets up a definite trail of expectation for the other 12 tracks, which pleasantly, do not disappoint. The erratic, “Qwerty Finger” follows the opener but steps it up a notch, the handclaps and almost mechanical-quick drumbeat, build into a song full of crazed yelping and singing so fast you’re strained to understand what he is saying. It’s actually, oddly enough, one of the qualities of the band, probably most prominent in the next song, prior single, “Schoolin’”, as evidenced with it’s visually translatory video:
After that song the pace is changed up quite a lot with “Leave The Engine Room”, an eerily nice song, cutting a soft dreamscape to let your mind wander. The vocals are shifted from fast-yelping raps to a slower, but higher drawl. This melodic shift continues with “Final Form” and another focus on falsetto singing. It has an intro guitar part as if it’s the theme tune of a successful tween drama, but that quickly builds into a darkly shaken and almost paranoid lyrical narrative. These quieter songs bridge the gap between the more omnipresent and faster songs, with “Photoshop Handsome” taking over and amongst other lyrics decrys the use of artificial airbrushing. There again is a shift with the song “Two For Nero” has the nerdy opening lyrics, “Tell me why you came here, squatting round a Game Gear, like SEGA never died….” set to a eerie and melodic beat, it’s another brilliant diversion from their the tracks their pre-released singles have established as the typical fare.
Early single “Suffragette Suffragette” then follows, a track that bleeds it’s distinction clear, boasting a heavier guitar presence as well as a lyrical and vocal quality that reveal it’s status as predecessor to the other songs. Quickly followed by the kind-of-forgettable “Come Alive Diana” (Princess reference? I’m not sure) and the oddly listener-supportive “Nasa Is On Your Side”, I say odd because the way the chorus is so directive and toward the listener, generating an even more weird sensation that the American Space Agency is behind you. The metronome-styled beat of the next song, Tin (The Manhole) coupled with hushed vocals gives it an interesting twist and the concluding track “Weights” sounds a bit like what you’d expect to hear if Hot Club de Paris picked up a synth or two and started dabbling in a bit of hip hop.
They release the album, Man Alive on the 30th, and it’s easily one of the best debuts released this year. Check them out if you get the chance and they set out on a UK-wide tour this coming September after appearances at the Reading and Leeds Festivals.