Even In Blackouts - Zeitgeist's Echo (Cover Artwork)

Even In Blackouts

Even In Blackouts: Zeitgeist's EchoZeitgeist's Echo (2004)
Knock Knock Records

Reviewer Rating: 1

Contributed by: JAmbrOC
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Even in Blackouts' first album, Myths And Imaginary Magicians (Myths), was one of the best and most original pop/punk albums to be released during the last five years. Unfortunately, their full-length follow up, entitled Zeitgeist's Echo is an absolute monstrosity. I was quite surprised at how .

Even in Blackouts' first album, Myths And Imaginary Magicians (Myths), was one of the best and most original pop/punk albums to be released during the last five years. Unfortunately, their full-length follow up, entitled Zeitgeist's Echo is an absolute monstrosity.

I was quite surprised at how difficult Zeitgeist's Echo was to track down. After re-releasing Myths on Lookout! Records, Even in Blackouts turned to Knock Knock Records for their EP, entitled Foreshadows On The Wall, and have remained with them for their latest effort. Initially, I chalked up the near-unavailability of the new album to poor distribution by their label. After listening to the album several times, however, I've revised my theory to account for the hordes of torch-wielding villagers who I expect are hunting down copies and destroying them for the good of mankind.

To be fair, Even in Blackouts shows moments of real growth on Zeitgeist's Echo. They've bolstered their unique "folk-Screeching Weasel" acoustic punk sound with frequent and diverse guest vocals. They've also incorporated a wider range of instruments, including piano and cello, into their songwriting. Their doo-wop filled cover of the Clifton's "One Fine Day" is an interesting standout, as is the maturing talent of singer Lizzie Eldredge who has one of the best voices in punk rock today.

That's about it for positives.

Songwriting on Zeitgeist's Echo is handled predominately by guitarist John Jughead and bassist Brad Lipman. Unfortunately, the charm and lyrical cohesion of Myths has completely abandoned the otherwise talented pair. Virtually every song on the album is artless, overwrought and marred by some mind-blowing lyrical bombs. The sarcastic undertone of Myths has also disappeared, replaced by one-dimensional wonders like "I love you and I don't know what to do, it's painful to think of you." I also have to feel awkward for everyone within earshot when the band performs "Curtain Part 1," which features the jaw-droppingly bad "she had a pussy that could devour, there seemed to be no way to satisfy it." Not even L7 could make that sound good.

Another odd thing about Zeitgeist's Echo is the arrangement. There are several bizarre quasi-songs and sound blurbs that repeatedly disrupt the band's minimal momentum. The only real exceptions are tracks 14-16 which make up the aforementioned 'Curtain' trilogy. Though the trilogy ends on a comparative high note, it's followed by the forced and out-of-place sounding "Heaven."

I really wanted to like Zeitgeist's Echo (indeed, after I wrote a positive review of Myths for this site, Jughead ‚?? or someone claiming to be him ‚?? emailed me a generous thank you note). There is no question that the band has what it takes to make an amazing album, and if they hang around long enough to put out another album I'll definitely give it a listen‚?¶but I'm afraid I just can't recommend Zeitgeist's Echo.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go find a mob of villagers to help get this thing out of my stereo.


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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.
Anonymous (January 22, 2005)

Check out Brad Lipman's comments about this review.


Anonymous (January 18, 2005)

You do a good job of writing a negative review without sounding like a total ass. I can appreiciate that. And that lyric in that curtain song must be the most awkward sounding thing I can imagine (considering what I think that band sounds like)


Anonymous (January 17, 2005)

another funny thing about this record was i got it and realized 2 of the new guys were from here in detrout, and had played in possibly hte worst band i've ever seen here that lasted more than 1 or 2 shows, multi-grain. anyway this band just reeks of lost potential, i thought parts of the first cd were amazing but nothing on the new record caught my attention

Anonymous (January 16, 2005)

Jughead's Revenge....ON OUR EARS!


Anonymous (January 15, 2005)

i thought their firts album was pretty good. this album, however, was terrible. only song i liked was "in a letter never sent"

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

"The only people who EVER bought Even In Blackouts CDs are former Chicago punkers, class of 93-95, who hopefully know better now."

I live in Pittsburgh, and I bought one.

I also enjoyed how your entire crticism of the band was pretty much constituted on the fact that you find them all incredibly unattractive, which I really don't understand. What did you expect? This isn't Ashlee Simpson's backup band we're talking about here. I'm sure if they wanted to, the band could probably rip apart a picture of you too. Cock.

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

I was agreeing with you that that's not a legitimate basis for disliking EiB.


Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

I didn't say Screeching Weasel, ahem, "sucked."

I said they weren't that great, certainly not something to trumpet at this juncture.

I did, however, say that Even In Blackouts "FUCKING SUCK."

slippy (January 14, 2005)

Wow. I'm surprised.

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

Anchors: that's really strange... I don't know why it does that. Unless I'm posting reviews in my sleep, I've done Even in Blackouts, RFTC, Liars Academy, Dead Inside, and Authority Zero. And I'm thinking about writing one for Pilot to Gunner's "Get Saved" which was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the best album of 2004.


Anchors (January 14, 2005)

Yo, OC, when I click 'see others', what's the deal with the 46 different reviewer names? That's all still you?

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

Didn't the whole band quit?
I think it's just Jughead and the singer with some new replacements. Guess the rest of them realized something.

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

I have a hard time accepting any argument that's based on Screeching Weasel "sucking."

As for my screen name, Fox actually stole the name of their talky and fashionable sitcom-drama from me. Don't believe me? Check out my review of the first Even in Blackouts album which predated the show by some time.

On a related note, I'd like to point out that a show which manages to piss off extremists in two separate religions by dumping the dogma and combining high holidays for the sole purpose of gift-giving can't be all that bad.


Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

Living in Chicago, I've had the misfortune of seeing this band several times over. THEY SUCK.

OK, first of all -- the "ex members of Screeching Weasel" thing isn't really something to crow about. Weasel was momentarily diverting for a second. And I can forgive Weasel mania from 15 year olds. (Funny enough, these days the only people that give a shit about Screeching Weasel, and this group is on the wane, are "old school" Chicago punks, I'm talking ugly-assed, fat, 30 to 45 types.)

But the Weasel thing shouldn't be my reason to dislike Even In Blackouts; and it isn't.

"Acoustic punk?" That might even work if the band had a shred of a clue what to do with acoustic guitars. The constant down-picking, Ramones guitar approach works only in the context of distortion and volume. With acoustic guitars, it's just boring and uninspired. Even In Blackouts' lyrics are pretentious crap. Their singer thinks she's a major talent, but she has a hard time staying in key and her voice is an emotionless, thin and weak instrument.

In the live context, the band is even worse. If it ain't bad enough having to watch the singer prance around like the queen of Sheba (She seems to think that, since she's in a band, she's therefore attractive.), watching Jon Jughead is a sickening experience. That sawed off shrimp looks ridiculous standing there like Johnny Ramone (yea, right) with an acoustic guitar. Fuck, the dude's about 5'2" before he hunkers over like Quasimodo. I have NO IDEA why he thinks it's "cool" to wear those baggy-ass parachute pants that only make him look shorter and squattier. And his facial grimacing is nothing short of grotesque. Lastly, the dude's going bald -- trying to cover it with messy, "long" hair. he's physically disgusting. And the band is just lame.

I'll tell you why Even In Blackouts is on a rinkydink label: their first CD didn't sell for shit. I don't know if Panic Button is even going anymore, for that matter. But they would've been dropped, anyway. They fucking suck. And, more important to money-grubbing has-been and Panic Button head honcho Ben Weasel, they can't sell CDs.

As to the comment about "hordes of fans" being angry about the new CD or whatever, well, I don't think a couple hundred people spread out around Illinois and Indiana constitutes a "horde." The only people who EVER bought Even In Blackouts CDs are former Chicago punkers, class of 93-95, who hopefully know better now.

For their sake (because I hate them) I hope Even In Blackouts keeps chasing that dream. They should travel the country, sleeping on floors, begging for crusts of bread and bragging about their Weasel affiliation to smaller and smaller numbers of people -- until they're totally broke and hate each others' fucking guts. I think it's funny to see pushing-40 chumps sleeping on the floors of 15 year old punkers and living off their parents' generosity, as if that's a "cool " thing to do. Yea, they're "living the life, keepin' it real, traveling econo." How, ugh, "punk" of them. Whatever. Losers.

This band will never do shit. I hope it takes them a long, long time to figure out that this half-baked idea will never fly. Because it will make me laugh to see that they've wasted sizeable chunks of their lives on such a lame, trite, poorly executed and downright shitty project.

Oh yea, Jon Jughead's girlfriend is a skank, too. Funny, he always seems to get Indiana's skankiest punkettes. I guess those zit farmers are the only ones who respond to his rapidly diminishing, ahem, "fame." And so it goes...

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

funny, a band called "Zeitgeist" something gets panned with a 2...

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

i agree with the review. i was really looking forward to the cd and when i got it i was totlaly disappointed. garbage

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

a very well done followup to the EP
unique and loveable from start to finish
and the preorder came with a mini coffin with pictures of the band. how cool is that?

mykindofmurder (January 14, 2005)

score is for the reviewer's name.

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