In Endeavors: You've Got Your Friends, I've Got Mine

These Lexington, KY garage rock upstarts clearly love the Strokes, and use their strutting rock 'n roll as a crutch.

In Endeavors

You've Got Your Friends, I've Got Mine

Label: Eugene
US Release Date: 2009-02-04
UK Release Date: Available as import

Every review I've read about Lexington, KY garage rock upstarts In Endeavors mentions the Strokes, and so will this one. I remember a time, at the start of their career around the turn of the century, when Julian Casablancas and company were not universally accepted -- adored by the critics but dismissed by some of the hoi polloi as cocksure and overhyped. Yet the staying power of the music and the Strokes themselves (not to mention a venerable live show) helped them become an institution and make revivalist rock tyros such as In Endeavors possible. They might consider sending them a fruit basket or a cheese plate at some point. Just a suggestion.

Lexington is a big city with fairly diverse musicians, though many of them fall on the spectrum from hardcore punk to radio rock, a divide that seems to shrink yearly. It's not surprising that In Endeavors arose from such a scene; their sound essentially consists of the Strokes' strutting rock 'n roll infused with a little pop-punk brashness like a neutered Yellowcard. The five band members appear to be decent musicians who can navigate tricky passages (though they don't always choose to) without breaking a sweat, most evidently on the EP's opener and easy trump card, "The Move". But the unoriginality is so omnipresent and distracting that it's difficult to judge In Endeavors strictly on their own merits. Theirs is the all-too-familiar story of young bands, comprised of earnest people, who tread water in an idol worship whirlpool before gaining the courage and surefootedness to hoist themselves out of it. So while You've Got Your Friends, I've Got Mine is not a debut -- they released an EP in 2008 entitled Thoughts, with no appreciable differences save for lower fidelity -- it sure feels like one.

In Endeavors perform constantly and seem to occupy a place in the hearts of Lexington's indie faithful for that reason. I've gathered from videos and fan reactions that they kick up a righteous din live, but their firecracker energy sounds deadened in the studio. I picture "Private Eye"'s emo riff and the title track's singalong chorus trying to bust free from Duane Lundy's so-so production, longing for the green fields of loud mics, unencumbered amps and a reactive audience. The same applies to the vocals of Gerren Reach, whose overly familiar off-key sneer is appropriate enough for the stage but way out of its depth in these clean environs. Of course, this may have been plucked from the Strokes as well, or their neighbors Franz Ferdinand, the White Stripes, or the Arctic Monkeys. Herein lies the "local band" appeal of In Endeavors, at least for those who call Kentucky home: All the stars you know and love, brought to you within an arm's reach. The rest of us holding the CD should be so lucky.






3 Pairs of Boots Celebrate Wandering on "Everywhere I Go" (premiere)

3 Pairs of Boots are releasing Long Rider in January 2021. The record demonstrates the pair's unmistakable chemistry and honing of their Americana-driven sound, as evidenced by the single, "Everywhere I Go".


'World War 3 Illustrated #51: The World We Are Fighting For'

World War 3 Illustrated #51 displays an eclectic range of artists united in their call to save democracy from rising fascism.


Tiphanie Doucet's "You and I" Is an Exercise in Pastoral Poignancy (premiere)

French singer-songwriter Tiphanie Doucet gives a glimpse of her upcoming EP, Painted Blue, via the sublimely sentimental ode, "You and I".


PM Picks Playlist 3: WEIRDO, Psychobuildings, Lili Pistorius

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of WEIRDO, Brooklyn chillwavers Psychobuildings, the clever alt-pop of Lili Pistorius, visceral post-punk from Sapphire Blues, Team Solo's ska-pop confection, and dubby beats from Ink Project.

By the Book

The Story of Life in 10 1/2 Species (excerpt)

If an alien visitor were to collect ten souvenir life forms to represent life on earth, which would they be? This excerpt of Marianne Taylor's The Story of Life in 10 and a Half Species explores in text and photos the tiny but powerful earthling, the virus.

Marianne Taylor

Exploitation Shenanigans 'Test Tube Babies' and 'Guilty Parents' Contend with the Aftermath

As with so many of these movies about daughters who go astray, Test Tube Babies blames the uptight mothers who never told them about S-E-X. Meanwhile, Guilty Parents exploits poor impulse control and chorus girls showing their underwear.


Deftones Pull a Late-Career Rabbit Out of a Hat with 'Ohms'

Twenty years removed from Deftones' debut album, the iconic alt-metal outfit gel more than ever and discover their poise on Ohms.


Arcade Fire's Will Butler Personalizes History on 'Generations'

Arcade Fire's Will Butler creates bouncy, infectious rhythms and covers them with socially responsible, cerebral lyrics about American life past and present on Generations.


Thelonious Monk's Recently Unearthed 'Palo Alto' Is a Stellar Posthumous Live Set

With a backstory as exhilarating as the music itself, a Thelonious Monk concert recorded at a California high school in 1968 is a rare treat for jazz fans.


Jonnine's 'Blue Hills' Is an Intimate Collection of Half-Awake Pop Songs

What sets experimental pop's Jonnine apart on Blue Hills is her attention to detail, her poetic lyricism, and the indelibly personal touch her sound bears.


What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .


Renegade Connection's Gary Asquith Indulges in Creative Tension

From Renegade Soundwave to Renegade Connection, electronic legend Gary Asquith talks about how he continues to produce infectiously innovative music.


A Certain Ratio Return with a Message of Hope on 'ACR Loco'

Inspired by 2019's career-spanning box set, legendary Manchester post-punkers A Certain Ratio return with their first new album in 12 years, ACR Loco.


Oscar Hijuelos' 'Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love' Dances On

Oscar Hijuelos' dizzyingly ambitious foot-tapping family epic, Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love, opened the door for Latinx writers to tell their stories in all their richness.


PM Picks Playlist 2: Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES, SOUNDQ

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES' stunning dream folk, Polish producer SOUNDQ, the indie pop of Pylon Heights, a timely message from Exit Kid, and Natalie McCool's latest alt-pop banger.


'Lost Girls and Love Hotels' and Finding Comfort in Sadness

William Olsson's Lost Girls and Love Hotels finds optimism in its message that life tears us apart and puts us back together again differently.


Bright Eyes' 'Down in the Weeds' Is a Return to Form and a Statement of Hope

Bright Eyes may not technically be emo, but they are transcendently expressive, beatifically melancholic. Down in the Weeds is just the statement of grounding that we need as a respite from the churning chaos around us.


Audrey Hepburn + Rome = Grace, Class, and Beauty

William Wyler's Roman Holiday crosses the postcard genre with a hardy trope: Old World royalty seeks escape from stuffy, ritual-bound, lives for a fling with the modern world, especially with Americans.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.