Sometimes you just need something loud and raw to rock your world. Thankfully (and contrary to popular belief), the true loud rock tradition lives on. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the eponymous offering from a Brooklyn quartet known as the Everyothers.
While others have compared the sound of the Everyothers to Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie, I’m here to set the record straight. Sure they can do glam-rock a la Bowie-style, remarkably so and true to Tony Visconti’s production mastery, but there’s a lot more to them than that.
(Hautlab Music Group)
US: 4 Nov 2003
UK: Available as import
Think high-energy beats, brash guitars, crunchy and confident, executing melodic songs that cover a wide realm of pure rock territory. As a result, the Everyothers likely will get compared to everyone from Bowie to the current garage band flavors of the month.
Singer/songwriter/guitarist Owen McCarthy helms the proceedings, serving up vocals in the Axl Rose tradition, sure of himself, sweet enough and emotive with just the right edge of rawness, yet capable of pure power screaming. His subtle interactions with his bandmates work flawlessly—you get a real sense of tight live excitement from this studio offering.
Lead guitarist Joel B. Cannon takes off from Mick Ronson roots and updates the sound as needed, serving up thick distorted tones at times, more traditional fills at others. The rhythm team of Ben Toro on bass and John Melville on drums understands how to make the rock roll. Tim O’Heir’s (Superdrag, Sebadoh) production keeps it simple and direct. This is slick in the sense of tight performances, but muddy enough to convey the group’s musical energy.
You might hear some Supergrass influence here, but you could just as easily argue for Super Furry Animals, Black Crowes, or a harder-edged version of the Strokes (or the Vines, the Hives, etc). Me, I hear an amalgam of many sounds, Guns N’ Roses or even the long-lost Billy Idol, Iggy and the Stooges, and even some fine ‘70s metal mixed in there. It’s gritty and punkish and so much more than just another tired glam-rock retread. The Everyothers seem to have the real goods.
First, let’s examine the Bowie references. “Can’t Get Around It” is so perfectly a modern clone of vintage Bowie, it’s scary. You can’t get any better than this delicious guitar rock with attitude. This defense of pride and manhood couched in making sure his woman “gets enough” offers shouted verses that lead into a harmony chorus that declares: “I’m moving to a different plan, I’m working on my New York tan”.
The only other real Bowie-like tunes here are the rocking “Go Down Soon”, again serving up shouted verses that fold into a more melodic chorus, and “In My Shoes”, a slower-driving tune that recalls those Ziggy Stardust days. On all three of these songs, Cannon’s guitars never strike a false note.
More traditional rockers include “Like a Drug” (this is the one that strikes me as curiously Billy Idol-like, in a very good way), and its musical cousin “Ticket Home”. “Make Up Something” is another competent rocker, allowing McCarthy another emotive vocal turn along with subtle accents from Toro’s basslines.
I particularly like “Break That Bottle”, with its slightly jazz-influenced syncopations and fills. Joel B. Cannon turns his expressive guitar fills into a virtual second vocalist on the verses of “No Right Time.”
“Surprise, Surprise” is where McCarthy reminds me a wee bit of Axl Rose in his vocal prime, comfortably able to traverse songscapes of sensitivity to those of ugly power. McCarthy is a talented songwriter who provides himself with ample opportunity and range to impress as a vocalist on this dozen-song debut.
“Whatever You Want” is a hard-driving straight-ahead rocker that opens the proceedings on a strong note. The closer, “Dead Star”, is the only true ballad here, a song of isolation and farewells that closes this fine collection and allows McCarthy a chance at doing a Bono-like turn.
Those who prefer raw power in their rock choices definitely should give the Everyothers a listen. This band has energy and talent that transcends the glam-rock label others seem eager to pin on them. The Everyothers is classic rock charisma masquerading as a debut. They have reverence for their antecedents, but simply put, these four purely can rock. Watch out for these boys in the future. Guaranteed they’ll rock your arena, given half a chance.