The Evens - Get Evens (Cover Artwork)

The Evens

Get Evens (2006)


Short version:

If you like Ian MacKaye, and by that, I mean you like nearly everything he's done, and especially if you liked the Evens' first release, you will love this. Buy it. It's terrific.

Long version:

I'm a real sucker for the "first-track punch." It's my belief that so goes the first track on an album, so goes the album. Not so with Get Evens. The first track, "Cut from the Cloth" is a sleepy, downbeat song with a mild tempo. It's not a bad song, but it's quite long and a bit dull, but not neccessarily in an uninteresting way. The second time I listened to the song, I liked it twice as much. The subsequent listen, I liked it even more. That's the best thing about the Evens; it's hard to get sick of them.

The second track, "Everybody Knows," rolls in with a much more upbeat tempo, and features Amy Farina's terrific drumming. I don't recall marveling at her drumming on their self-titled debut, but every last track on this album features some great drumming.

Other standouts include "Pushed Against the Wall" which features, towards the end of the track, a rapid tempo increase with Ian doing some fast triplet strumming while Amy pounds away at her drum kit with surgical precision. They then sing in tandem for the outro. It's the Evens at their very best. "All You Find You Keep" is another track just like this. The chorus will stick in your brain, but you won't mind.

They stick with their proven formula of simple baritone guitar, drum kit, and two singers without nary a single effects box or even layered recording. Undoubtedly, Ian believes that if it can't be reproduced live, it's probably not worth doing. However, the second half of "No Money" features a simple three-note bass line with some subtle distorted guitar recorded atop it. It reminds me of Fugazi, and it sounds wonderful (of course).

On the whole, Get Evens sounds like a good evolution for this duo. Much of the melodies and especially the time signatures and tempo changes, have a more pronounced jazz or even funk influence. But in a wholly good way.

In a sea of melodic hardcore, metalcore, cut-yourself-mallcore, it seems that everyone is screaming at their top of their lungs to be heard. The Evens deliver their message and their music without fancy electronics or having to scream a single word, and by doing so, are more punk rock than anyone else out there.