Doesn't Everyone Everywhere know the crucial rock 'n' roll rule? If you're going to self-title more than one album, you need to put something distinct on the cover so listeners can identify them easily. Weezer has their Blue, Green and Red albums; Red House Painters has Rollercoaster and Bridge. So what the hell is this shit? The Poorly-Budgeted Museum Corner LP?
Mostly sarcastic quibbling aside, this Philadelphia quartet failed to gain a certain level of recognition they so rightly deserved with their first self-titled effort in 2010. While the fellow '90s revivalists of their state (Title Fight, Tigers Jaw, Balance and Composure) gained cultish followings shortly after notable releases, Everyone Everywhere has seemed to become a neglected gem of earnest, quirky, emo-laced rock. But maybe that's an unfair comparison; EE's touring regiment was and remains considerably less busy, and their former label, Tiny Engines, doesn't quite have the built-in following of a Run for Cover or No Sleep.
Everyone Everywhere will probably continue to stay off the road and focus on their home lives (and one suspects, families?), and just play scattered dates in support of this 2012 self-titled album, but one has to hope they max out their potential growth. (An article on Forbes, of all places, about the band's limited pay-what-you-want-for-an-actual-LP model can't hurt.) The self-released Everyone Everywhere (2012) is a worthy followup to an equally strong debut, refining the band's pop smarts and turning in a more confident and tightly played performance. To labor on a comparison the band has been saddled with since Day 1, this is essentially the Very Emergency to their Nothing Feels Good.
While the record's arguably less emotionally tense than its predecessor, one wouldn't know it by opener "I Feel Exhausted." It's one of the more epic and enchanting songs in the band's slowly growing catalogue, showing their continued knack for a huge, pleading hook with a feverish but restrained buildup. There's also the blunt fears of aging in penultimate number "Big Hat": "Time slips by / I'm 38 years old / I'm past my prime." On the collegiate "Wild Life," frontman Brendan McHugh wishes to "understand the basic concept of human completeness."
Musically, the album finds the band a little more ambitious with the instrumentation: punchy brass addition towards the end of "Queen Mary II" is far less American Football and more a modest Mighty Mighty Bosstones moment, while a banjo helps "Fervor & Indifference in the Bicameral Brain" float out smoothly.
There are enough highlights overall, though, to recognize the LP as ostensibly great. "$1,000,000" is the best bit of temperate finger-tapping left off Highly Refined Pirates, while the urgent "Turn & Go & Turn" sports one of the album's best driving melodies. "No Furniture" delays its first chorus just a shade with a brilliant glimpse of sprawling guitar noise.
Everyone Everywhere's sophomore act of eponymity will likely remain in anonymity, and that's a pity. But hopefully this album manages to reach all within its limited radius, because it shows a group of stripped-down dudes continuing to offer some of the best jangly and melodic emo revival around.
Everyone Everywhere (2012)