Evening – Other Victorians (CD)

Coming through with a very post-hardcore sound, mixing elements of Coldplay, Pink Floyd, the Weakerthans, and the entire early-1990s indie rock movement. Matt’s voice is quirky and at times inconsistent with the style of music that Evening plays. While the promo sheet for this release is littered with the praise of in-house writers proclaiming the originality of Evening, I really tend to find this disc par for the course in CMJ-Alternative Rock. “Darmstadt” starts out with an emotional guitar line that is demarcated from the rest of the disc with the force it contains – the simple fact is that many of the tracks on “Other Victorians” suffer from a lack of emotion. However, the problem keeps resurfacing with the lack of cohesion in “Darmstadt” as well as in other tracks – Matt’s voice is at crossroads with the music laid down by the rest of the band.

The nice metal-driven (think “Iron Man”) guitars on “Vieux Pander” really show the more experimental side of the band, being a punchy, uptempo track on a disc full of slowly, more ethereal compositions. “I Want Everything” use distorted guitars and a purposive moog to create an emotive epic. Flickering again, ever so weakly, are those hints of metal in the doubled drum beats, which couple nicely with the aforementioned moog lines. After the instrumental “That’s Not A Melody”, the band muddles in the weak “Wither In Bloom”, using off-kilter keyboard lines and needlessly-distorted guitar lines to try to eke out a song. “Other Victorians” ends with the same unevenness that it started – for every “Wither In Bloom”, there is the chatty masterpiece “Run Memory”, which bristles with a electronic noise that coheres everything into one unit. Cliché ultimately wins over solid musicianship in the end of “Other Victorians” though, as a solid chunk of this disc is stolid, paint-by-the-numbers indie rock that has been done a thousand times in the past.

Lookout had reached new heights with both the new Washdown and Mr. T Experience albums, but “Other Victorians” seems to be just a moneymaker for the band. The “Aggressive campaign to press, targeting music and lifestyle fashion magazines” blurb on their promo sheet marks them more as a commodity, like underwear or Axe cologne, instead of a living, breathing, caring band. A weak effort by a band that makes no effort to try and push the boundary makes “Other Victorians” an album that no one should pick up.

Rating: 4.9/10

Top Track : Run Memory

Evening – Other Victorians / 2004 Lookout Records / 13 Tracks / http://www.theevening.com / http://www.lookoutrecords.com / Reviewed 12 March 2004

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