The Evens - The Odds (Cover Artwork)

The Evens

The Evens: The OddsThe Odds (2012)
Dischord Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: JeloneJelone
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This year saw Ian MacKaye return to music. And while it wasn't with Fugazi (or Minor Threat‚?¶or Embrace‚?¶or even the Teen Idles), the Evens' belated third album The Odds is still a welcome return from one of hardcore's greatest musicians. It's also arguably the duo's best record to date. MacKaye and drummer/vocalist Amy Farina have a weird way of complementing each other, gloriously.

The Evens are still very much the mellowest band for both members, but it's interesting hearing how they intertwine. If you listen to something like "Sooner or Later," the guitar part MacKaye plays sounds like it's a few few decibels away from a Fugazi part. It's stuttering, it's somewhat indebted to reggae and it has this awesome power. With a little dash of distortion, this would make for a great post-hardcore riff. But Farina hangs back, opting for a half time groove that Fugazi rarely employed, and it creates this amazing push/pull dynamic. Admittedly, the pair use this trick a few times too many (also, while we're at it, some of the songs don't really end so much as stop whenever), but the way MacKaye charges ahead while Farina defies the downbeat is something to celebrate.

The Odds also packs in some quieter fare, such as "Competing With the Till" and "I Do Myself," that fits in with what people probably expect from the band, but it's honestly surprising how effectively the Evens can rock. For all the talk about how MacKaye isn't so angry anymore, tracks like "Wanted Criminals" find him digging deep for that fabled bark to deliver lines like "Need a job / People need something to do / They're getting angry." There's your Occupy slogan right there.

Dischord, and MacKaye himself, have slowed down over the last few years, but when the label and the man pop up again, it's always worth paying attention. While The Odds seems to have had a short gestation after a long break, it feels like a breakthrough for the group, and a welcome one at that.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
OffspringKickAss (December 15, 2012)

Such a chill record, first Evens CD I've listened to and I'm going to listen to more. Ian MacKaye is a god.

televisioneyes (December 5, 2012)

It's really good. Didn't give it 5 stars cause it's not as good as the last album. But, still, it's really good.

misterspike (December 4, 2012)

Waited for what seemed to forever for this to finally come out. One of my favorite releases this year, for sure.

killtaker (December 4, 2012)

I will check this out but I wasn't really into the first 2 Evens records.

davebrave4 (November 30, 2012)

Best album to date? I've really gotta stop by the house I preordered it to and pick this album up. It sounds amazing.

"the way MacKaye charges ahead while Farina defies the downbeat is something to celebrate." Great line.

Person below me, these guys are definitely worth checking out. Their first two albums absolutely blew me away the first time I heard them.

longshot (November 30, 2012)

Good review. I've been meaning to get into this band for too long now. I'll definitely try to check out this record.

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