The Evens - The Evens (Cover Artwork)

The Evens

The Evens: The EvensThe Evens (2005)
Dischord Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

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

Let me start off by saying if you bought this record ignorantly hoping it would sound like Fugazi or Minor Threat, you will no doubt be let down. I love those two bands, but they are both entirely different, as is this wonderful little album from the genius which is both Ian MacKaye and Amy Farina (.
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Let me start off by saying if you bought this record ignorantly hoping it would sound like Fugazi or Minor Threat, you will no doubt be let down. I love those two bands, but they are both entirely different, as is this wonderful little album from the genius which is both Ian MacKaye and Amy Farina (of the Warmers). Ian trades in his usual trademark of loud, abrasive intellectual rock for beautifully atmospheric and simple tunes, without sacrificing his usual razor-sharp political lyrics.

If I had to compare this album to anything musically, I would say it has a small amount in common with the handful of very minimalist, experimental tracks off of Fugazi's last album The Argument, but for the most part this is a complete departure from Ian's early work. His vocals are better than ever; he's really showing off his ability to sing rather than just yell in this release. And not to be forgotten is this album's other, equally important, half - Amy Farina. Her subtle, haunting voice is capable of sending chills down your spine, as is demonstrated on the brilliant "Around The Corner."

The band prevents tracks from blending together by switching up tempos and beats, only enough to make it interesting and not enough to make it seem "all over the map." "All These Governors" is a very catchy and slightly funk-infused Ian track, while "Minding One's Business" is a very minimalist, atmospheric Farina track (with Ian providing faint, distant backup vocals). "You Won't Feel A Thing" is an amazing Ian/Farina duet with a slight post-punk feel to it.

Musically, it's hard to compare this album to another band's work, though it features some similarities to underappreciated SST band Angst. If you have an appreciation for good music, brilliant harmonies and excellent songwriting you should pick up this record today at your local indie record store.


People who liked this also liked:
Bad Brains - Bad BrainsMinor Threat - Complete DiscographyRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeNirvana - BleachMeat Puppets - Meat Puppets IIFugazi - 13 SongsFlipper - GenericFugazi - The ArgumentFugazi - Repeater + 3 SongsBlack Flag - Damaged

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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 (June 24, 2005)

This is good.. unlike Minor Threat.. overrated shit

velCHINASKI (April 23, 2005)

Beautiful music. I can't stop this listening
Can someone me send on e-mail texts ?I was extremely grateful !
It was wished only ,that to Europy reach on island only on concerts and it so as once everywhere ! :((((
I wait on new album FUGAZI !!!!
Have nice day ALL

Anonymous (April 2, 2005)

the evens at the side room of the glasshouse = fucking great. i think i'm going to have to get this online...unless i feel like making the drive to a real record store. everything is at least an hour away.

Anonymous (April 1, 2005)

i picked this up today. so far, so good. i need to listen to something a couple times before i form a real opinion though. but right now i'm digging it.

darkstarm (March 31, 2005)

I heard some of this while walking through a record store. It sounded pretty great. I'm gonna pick it up ASAP.

Anonymous (March 31, 2005)

answer: if you dont mind stealing a cd then go for it. Hell, not every1 is rich enuff to buy every cd they want.

Anonymous (March 31, 2005)

Hi this is Greg Raymer, you are all gay and I am rubbing my five million all over my body, and into my asscrack. I hope someday some of these bills make it through the money system and into your hands and you get sick. Bye.

Anonymous (March 30, 2005)

i have a burned minor threat album that is about 20 years old, and that cd only gives me minor problems

- jones the bones

TheOneTrueBill (March 30, 2005)

My burned copy of the first Clash album is five years old and I have no trouble at all.

Anonymous (March 30, 2005)

Chinatown, for the sake of us all, shut the fuck up.

Anchors (March 30, 2005)

I have so many 'black' bands/artists on my fucking playlist, it's obsurd.

Black Rob
Black Eyed Peas
Black Sabbath
Black Eyes
Black Keyes
Black Dice
Black Flag
Black Maria
Black Paper Diary

Oh well, at least they're all better than the White Stripes.

Anonymous (March 30, 2005)

Shit, I just realized I said Bright Eyes.

I meant Black Eyes.

Bright Eyes is total shit.


Anonymous (March 30, 2005)

Yeah, ITunes is shit. What good is having a bunch of mp3s on your computer or Ipod? With a real CD, you can transfer the songs onto both those devices, as well as play it in your car and stereo. Besides, burnt CDs have some kind of mechanism implanted inside them which causes deterioration over time (most of my burnt CDs from 2-3 years ago have become unplayable, or skip heavily).

Besides, you can get tons of indie/punk releasess on MiRC channels and FTP servers months before their release date, and, more importantly, free of charge. (Not that I support ripping off bands....not deserving ones, anyway. I use it strictly to see whether or not the album is worth buying.)

Also, I think liner notes are very important, as they allow you to have access to song lyrics. You'd be hard pressed to find lyrics by smaller bands like Bright Eyes, Lungfish, and These Arms Are Snakes.

By the way, is anyone going to do a review of the new French Toast record? Brendan Canty's in that band for Christ's sake!!


Anonymous (March 30, 2005)

the art, barring certain releases, is not really a driving factor for me. and i know I can mail order from dischord blah blah blah. Trust me. I'm not new. I used to order from Very, Lumberjack, and Initial for a long long time. Back when there was no website to go to. Now, I carry my ipod everywhere I go.

I have a basement full of old CD cases that are doing me no good. Artwork is good for me for the first listen. Beyond that, I could give a fuck. And if I'm going to download it, I'm going to make sure that the band I'm downloading gets something out of it, be it on iTunes or eMusic or where ever. So, now you see. I'm an OG at this. I worked in record stores, I used to be a huge collector. Now, I just don't want to be bothered with all the rigamarole. I just want the music.

MarkieStabone (March 30, 2005)

i find that itunes' real strength lies in EP's and exclusives. i'm not a heavy user of the itunes store, but back when the lashes ep came out, i couldn't find it in stores around here at all. i went to the lookout site and it was $5 plus shipping, and it was $6.50 shipping at interpunk. so instead, i paid $3.96 and had it immediately.

also, itunes gets a lot of exclusives like the ted leo ep.

but yeah, i don't see much use in buying the full album for $9.99 when most indie albums can be had for not much more.

SteveJonesTheRealBones (March 30, 2005)

seriously, why the fuck would you buy this on itunes?

its only ten bucks from the dischord site and i think its postage paid. maybe you didnt know this , but when ordering a cd from a website, you get the cd, the case, and all the artwork...not just mp3s burned on a disc, which is essentially what you get from itunes for the same price...

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Anchors (March 30, 2005)

I will never, I repeat never, pay for a music download. Why in the world would I want to pay the same price as I would at an indie record store, and not get the actual cd, cover art, and liner notes?

To me, that's just dumb.

Anonymous (March 30, 2005)

Being that I rarely set foot in a music store anymore, I'm stoked that Dischord stuff is on iTunes. I bought this album last night after scouring every store here for a week.

So, if all independent labels hop on iTunes good things will happen, the least of which being the labels and bands will get some nice cash transfusions.

cash=more good music at an indie.

rather than cash=bigger car/house/sack of cocaine at a major.

Anonymous (March 30, 2005)

in a week or so, all dischord releases will be available on itunes. not sure how i feel about that.

Anonymous (March 30, 2005)

sister, wife, as long as shes a mackaye, I feel like I shot pretty close.

i deserve an award for participating.


Anonymous (March 30, 2005)

Beautiful music. Both singers do a terrific job. I can't stop listening to this.

gladimnotemo (March 29, 2005)

I need this.

Anonymous (March 29, 2005)

This LP is self-titled. Dischord always uses the "# songs" to refer to a self-titled release (except Fugazi's 13 songs which is really called that).

Anonymous (March 29, 2005)

"by the way, where did you guys get the title "12 songs?" my copy seems to be self-titled..."

http://www.dischord.com/cgi-bin/StoreDriver.pl ?action=showRel&relNumber=150

Anonymous (March 29, 2005)

Amanda is his sister.

Anonymous (March 29, 2005)

i'm going to take a leap and say amanda mackaye is his sister, not wife... see sammich records, etc...

MarkieStabone (March 29, 2005)

this album does not rock. that said, it is quite good. not at all what i would have expected, but i enjoy it.

by the way, where did you guys get the title "12 songs?" my copy seems to be self-titled...

Anonymous (March 29, 2005)

This record is awesome, as is their performance on Burn to Shine (which, as we discussed elsewhere, is not that good overall).

Wyld_Stallyns_Rule (March 29, 2005)

This is a great album. All I can think about, though, is they would be perfect tour mates with Low.

sickboi (March 29, 2005)

Wyzo like to say abstract shit to sound witty. He's very hit or miss.

Anonymous (March 29, 2005)

This is a lot like the "la-la" bands I remember from DC in the late 80s/early 90s. Tsunami, Velocity Girl, Unrest, any of those Simple Machines and Teenbeat bands. I like it, it's a nice change of pace.

_Sexy_Pants_ (March 29, 2005)

wyzo's got a lot on his mind

cubaricho (March 29, 2005)

where is the fiya review?

Anonymous (March 29, 2005)

Haven't heard the album, but the song Vowell Movement is great.

CrookedSuperhero (March 29, 2005)

People in Black Cougar Shock Unit too.

Anonymous (March 29, 2005)

Ian's wife's band THE ROUTINEERS just put a record out and is quite stellar, and i only reserve stellar for good records and high school prom punch.

One of the guys in DISCOUNT is in the ROUTINEERS now. Thus transferring the CAPS normally only for DISCOUNT to the ROUTINEERS.

This record is also good.

Incidentally, has anyone else noticed that every member of DISCOUNT has had to be in at least one more awesome band? (counting Alison's I'm not alison band the kills with equal footing as everyone else since I liked their first 12 inch, but then couldn't believe the lengths they were going to be pretentious)

was DISCOUNT the most talented underrated band in the world?

I mean, one of the guys is in kitchen with his wife (exwife now i hear?) from bis, and thats awesome in a whole different way. And one guy is in house on fire, or of fire, whatever, and that rocks, also in a totally different , punishing, way.

What if Ian started a band with his entire family and DISCOUNT?

I'm gonna make my urethra vomit with that.
Meaning of life its only whhh-affer thin vomit.


Crookedsuperhero (March 29, 2005)


colin (March 29, 2005)

this is good chill music

Anonymous (March 29, 2005)

brandon i hate you for your amen review....i bought it and couldnt even get through 5 songs.....it sucks

Anonymous (March 29, 2005)

uhg i barely made it threw 3 songs before i was too bored to listen...i'll have to give it another chance sometime.

those 3 songs were terribly boring

Anonymous (March 29, 2005)

The guys at the recordstore were amazed when I came up the counter with this. "Dude, someons buying it already!"

Anyways, it's pretty sweet. One or two tracks don't do anything for me, but the rest is awesome.

ubershep (March 29, 2005)

Excellent album. It does get better with every listen, and the subtlties pop up more and more. Its great to draw to.

Johnny_X (March 29, 2005)

I wasn't so sure anyone was gonna have the balls to take on this review. Guess I was wrong, Anyways, I agree that the only comparisons that can be made regarding Ian's previous work would be a few tracks off The Arguement. I'm not so sure it will appeal to many fans of Fugazi and Minor Threat. Thats not saying that it is not a good album though. Ian vocals are amazing. They are soft and smooth throughout. The only yelling is in the background when Farina is singing but you have to listen closely to hear it. They make a great pair musically. I just like this cd so much because it is a welcome change of pace from what I've been listening to lately.

Anonymous (March 29, 2005)

why haven't i bought this yet?

i saw them twice when they came to the bay area. in the berkeley show, they played at a HS in the auditorium and the opener was a full on talent show. and i mean full-on. tap-dancers, jam bands, poetry readings, some kids who made a song by tapping pencils on a table. it was some pretty great shit.

Anonymous (March 29, 2005)

Best record so far this year. It only sounds better the more I listen to it.

TheOneTrueBill (March 29, 2005)

Funk? Really? I'm in.

stevejonestherealbones (March 29, 2005)

i've been meaning to order this

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

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