“Get Your Guns” starts off “Everything Is”, and what one really takes from this first track is that the band is influenced by musically diverse genres. The grungy guitars reach out to the halcyon days of acts like MC5 while the vocals cross the Atlantic to take an Oasis-type of tone. Of course, the band stops to visit with Weezer and Matthew Sweet along the way. With each following track on “Everything Is”, the band continues to attack individuals with their own brand of working-person rock.
The Oasis influence previously noticed on “Get Your Guns” disappears for a more Nirvana-taken sound on “Not Everyone”. “Unsatisfied” is a track that really feels as if Nine Black Alps did a mash-up of Interpol and “Green” album Weezer. Unlike both of those bands, however, Nine Black Alps have sincerity in the emotion that is shown throughout the track. Where Nine Black Alps seem to shine is in the creation of a distinct style in a genre that has seemingly been done to death. Coupling that distinct sound with something that is very commercial and radio-friendly and “Everything Is” is an album that will appeal equally well to music fans and technical geeks alike. The acoustic-styled “Behind Your Eyes” is a bowdlerized version of a Flatt and Scruggs sound, while the vocals present in the track lodge themselves into a sixties frame of mind. There are also hints of 311 and Incubus at the peripheries of this track, which means if the song was released for common consumption (as a radio single perhaps), Nine Black Alps would have individuals of various stripes digging this immensely.
“Shot Down” is a resumption of the same stripped-down type of rock that has fueled some of the hardiest tracks on the disc, and will have listeners bopping around as they mouth the lyrics. A number of the songs on “Everything Is” are safe for common consumption, but have enough of an edge to resist conversion into the elevator muzak that so many other acts find themselves relegated to after their career has closed down. Nine Black Alps have fleshed out the sound that they inculcated listeners into with their last EP, and the results are pretty strong. Here’s to hoping we here more out of Nine Black Alps in the future, and that they can continue to incorporate disparate styles into their general sound to keep their music fresh and new.
Top Tracks: Get Your Guns, Behind Your Eyes
Nine Black Alps – Everything Is / 2006 Interscope / 12 Tracks / http://www.nineblackalps.net / http://www.interscope.com / Reviewed 25 February 2006