It’s a dramatic understatement to say that music has changed since I first discovered DIY in the 1990s. But in many ways, one of the first things I discovered about real people making music, is that contacting a label you like usually leads to good things. While you can sample music online nowadays and there are ample bot-driven “recommended if you like” autoplay options, I still find that many of the new bands I discover in 2019 are discovered simply by checking out the catalog of a reliable label.
That’s what tuned me to Evening Standards, and their second release, World’s End. I honestly don’t know much more about the band than what I learned putting together SPB’s premiere of “Forever.” That’s somewhat intentional because I think the best way to review a record is talk about the music instead of reading what other people have said.
In many ways this record is about dealing with and overcoming adversity, be it a death of a loved, a failed relationship or something else. It’s about pain, but it’s alternately peppy and positive, looking forward instead of looking back in sorrow. It’s really defined by its harmonies, especially the dual vocal harmonies that bring Xto mind on songs like “Rosy” and “Missing Pieces,” specifically of John Doe’s ability to convey emotion through a tune. Like X, it’s rooted in punk but the songs are more nuanced and it avoids that breakneck pace. Like I said, there’s a lot of pep, but it’s not bouncy or forceful music. It’s reflective and beneath the sheen of each smooth harmony there’s something that cuts down to core, often very sad, emotion below the surface.
“Forever” is probably the highlight and it’s a song the band called “a little key to one of the big themes of the album for its SPB stream. There’s a lot of emotion, at times subtle but also worn-on-sleeve it the chorus. There’s a pop current throughout the record, including here, that allows the song to shine amid their less than bright themes.
7.8 / 10
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