The Evens - The Evens (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Evens

The Evens (2005)


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.