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The Everymen

New Jersey Hardcore

(Killing Horse; US: 9 Oct 2012; UK: Import)

The Everymen might be better off switching around the title to Hardcore New Jersey, because it borrow from everything from Frankie Valli-esque pop (“Dance Only, Only Dance”) to the more melodic side of pop-punk outfit Lifetime (“Dreams”) and, of course, the Boss (just about everywhere). Regardless of how much they stand on the shoulders of these giants, the Everymen have put together an energetic, catchy record top to bottom. Singer Mike V is a gruff-voices crooner full of equal-parts heartbreak and cheap canned beer. He’s lovelorn all over this record, but while his earnest pleas for requited love on “Dreams” or “Come Back to Bed” may seem like boilerplate jilted-lover tunes, there’s an earnest power to it, and not to mention some powerfully chugging guitars, that sell those tunes. Of course, when Catherine Herrick sings the speedy gem “Coney Island High” she almost steals the show, so this is hardly a one-man show. Hardcore New Jersey is an unabashed ode to a home state, but it’s hardly insular. This is as populist as a rock party gets, and yet despite the common tropes the band visits (and revisits), the emotions still feel specific and dig almost as deep as the hooks do.

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Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


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