The Evens - Get Evens (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Evens

Get Evens (2006)

Dischord Records

Ian Mackaye has had a remarkable career in punk. From his pioneering days in Teen Idles, to his stints in the incredibly influential Minor Threat, the trailblazing Embrace and the genre defying Fugazi, to his current project The Evens. He has run a very respected record label and conducted his business with integrity for nearly 40 years. He’s even been an entertaining talking head for whatever punk documentary filmmaker shows up at his door. (This is no small feat.) I’ve got a ton of respect for the guy. To repeat: I have no axe to grind with Ian MacKaye. All that being said, I don’t really enjoy The Evens.

Get Evens is the second LP from the husband and wife duo of Ian MacKaye and Amy Farina. It is 10 songs and 40 minutes of coffee house folk. Even as I sit here and to listen to it again, my mind can’t help but start to wander. At first I wondered if I was missing something, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not. There’s some mad strumming of the acoustic guitar. There are some basic drums. There is some decent singing and even some pretty melodies and harmonies. The lyrics are fine too, but somehow the pieces don’t add up. It’s like the sum is less than the individual parts. It’s not necessarily bad, but it’s not nearly as good as it should be. As far as the individual songs go, they all kind of blend together. It’s like background music for a first date scene in a movie.

The truth is, The Evens are pretty standard singer songwriter fare. No one in the punk world would pay any attention to them if the Mackaye name was not attached. Everything he had done up to this point had been undeniably compelling. That just can’t be said about The Evens. Or at lest the Get Evens LP. The fact of the matter is, he probably gets a free pass because he’s the guy from Minor Threat. I get it. He’s earned it. This is only on man’s opinion. I understand that musical taste is simply a matter of personal preference, but can anybody really LOVE both Minor Threat and The Evens? I don’t think so.