The Everymen - New Jersey Hardcore (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Everymen

New Jersey Hardcore (2012)

Killing Horse Records

Considering they recall Rocket from the Crypt, Dillinger Four and a couple hundred bar bands, it's curious that the Everymen would title their record New Jersey Hardcore. These tunes certainly don't recall Lifetime, although the band does claim the Garden State as home. Dubious advertising aside, though, New Jersey Hardcore makes for a fine listen.

This ain't hardcore, but it is certainly rock n' roll. The Everymen specialize in charging, sax-laden stompers. While their latest is a little sleight (only nine out of the 11 tracks are proper songs), the record still delivers the retro-rock goods. Tune after tune knocks out doo-wop harmonies, big sax solos and stomping percussion. While they're not quite rockabilly (not enough songs about cars and fighting, I guess), the Everymen hearken back to yesteryear successfully while bringing a more contemporary rock sheen.

But while all this revivalism is nice, it is also, of course, still just a retread. Some of the Everymen's songs, while catchy, come off a little underwritten, like "Come to Bed." The song packs a huge chorus, but the band works it just a little too hard. It's only three minutes long, but "Come to Bed" certainly makes the listener feel those three minutes.

That doesn't discredit the band much, even if it does take the album down a notch. The Everymen still rock it to the max or whatever. Scott Zillitto's saxophone gives these straightforward punky tunes some distinction ("Annie" would be just another Hold Steady-ish bar ballad by numbers without his soloing), while vocalist Mike V adds some grit. New Jersey Hardcore doesn't always make sense, but it sure is fun along the way.