Everything Everything – Get to Heaven Review

Manchester based Everything Everything sit very close to the throne of Art Rock, but this genre is only applied to them due to the sheer wealth of their genre base which makes some bands look pre-historic. But, there has been a difficulty in encapsulating all of this promise into a near perfect body of work with their first two albums, with many reservations stemming from an inability to follow and a lack of flow as opposed to any technical or musical ineptness. Their first two albums have still been very solid in this respect and the key for them as opposed to many other lacklustre bands is that they just need to make their sound more manageable and the third album Get To Heaven is no better time to do that is it not?

‘Regret’ was the lead single off the album and is a hard hitting track without feeling the need to implode our ear drums. It’s crisp and snappy percussion is accentuated with a faithfully following riff and chant-like backing vocals in the chorus, anchored by the nudging bass-line. From this intricate foundation fires the sharp lead riffs and Jonathan Higgs’ wailing and spiralling melodies that fall down into the dark and rough depths of his range. They condense the complexity into combinations of instrumentals so keeps the song dynamic, but also direct. ‘Distant Past’ features buoyant bass beat in isolation aside from Higgs’ rapidly delivered and antagonistic vocals from which come random, yet creatively linked lyrics. A falsetto interlude sends the song into it’s chorus as he demonstrates another vocal style plucked from his sleeve. Here the chopping guitars and quick percussion charge the song to hit it’s peak. The song easily switches and shifts to move back into it’s dance-type segments with added punch and to slide off into strung out and slowly oscillating soundscapes. The title track is a little more simple musically and is more of a genuine ‘indie’ dance track with it’s groove-filled bass lines, melodic rhythm guitars and small electronic additions. The chorus features high pitched harmonies that play off Higgs’ more lower toned vocal. The song then progresses towards an instrumental of rough riffs playing off their clean cut and slick counterparts before the latter lead the song back to it’s chorus. This shows that math-pop can be more inventive and appealing than it has so far proved to be.

‘Spring / Sun / Winter / Dread’ have distorted synths opening the track at high volume with Higgs’ vocals wonderfully sweeping across the stage set about for them by the electronica. This sums up the song as it goes on to feature more variations of bouncing electronica with the bass parts only coming in to highlight the sound instead of propping it up. Another brilliantly delivered and creatively heightened track. ‘Fortune 500’ is arranged in a similar fashion with the vocals set in front of flashing and rotating high pitched synths and from this is the gradual peaking of the sound with the other instrumentation coming in to add a driving engine to the track. It goes on to absolutely master the sound and space around it in a cinematic fashion as they drop the sound and instantly pick it back up again. It’s like a truly modern theatrical event with the vocal harmonies contenting with the trembling electronica. ‘No Reptiles’ is verging on madness as the vocals keep pace with the sped up electronic beat with heavy piano chords accordingly intervening. Higgs’ then is album to switch his vocal and a more gradual and consistent grade which takes over the lead of the song and from this point the song goes on to embark on a shimmering, sonic acceleration of epic proportions. You can only imagine what that might sound like live. ‘The Wheel (Is Turning Now)’ is melodic and pop-rock shaken up and reimagined whilst ‘To The Blade’ shows just what can be achieved heavy distorted guitars once they’re used in an inventive and original fashion.

I quite frankly wasn’t expecting this album to be this good, even after hearing the singles I expected like most acts this year that they’d not meet expectations in creating an album of that standard. In this case Get To Heaven has album tracks that go way beyond the singles to areas of the theatrical, expansive, dark and those of shimmering quality. When you add to this prospect Jonathan Higgs’ highly versatile vocals and the perfectly absorbing production, then you have an album that is potentially a contender for album of the year. They can tick off that issue of not having an album that flows either despite catering for so many areas. It’s a resounding ‘Job Done’ with this album.

Everything Everything – Get To Heaven = 10/10

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – Everything Everything – Regret

Upbeat and unbelievably catchy, Everything Everything’s latest single Regret is already engrained in my head after just a couple of listens. This track is a fantastic pop hit destined for copious radio play, and yet there’s far more to it than plain old pop. A little Police-esque reggae injection, some psychedelic guitar in the middle break, a punchy rock drumbeat and a lovely Mancunian falsetto from lead vocalist Johnathan Higgs makes this a song that simply can’t be defined to a specific genre. Much like their 2013 hit ‘Kemosabe’, ‘Regret’ demands listen after addictive listen. Now please excuse me as I spend the rest of my day shouting “Regret, regret”.

Ellie Scott @Elliemaryscott

This Week’s Music Video with Mark Ronson, Giorgio Moroder, Röyksopp, Courtney Barnett and Everything Everything

Encountering St. Vincent – Gateshead Sage

On the 27th August I experienced first hand the marvel and enigma that is Annie Clark a.k.a St. Vincent. One of the most spectacular events that you could experience in combining her truly innovative and ground breaking music with striking theatrics, effects and coolly executed dramatics. These were evident from the off as the synth bounces of ‘Rattlesnake’ hit the applause and St. Vincent strolled on to carry out a series of poses and stances before a urgent and crisp delivery of the track whilst moving on to ‘Digital Witnesses’ with all it’s live intricacies and detail of each strike of her guitar and slick presentation that is occasionally intercepted by Wiry and metallic guitar solos, which are delivered with ease. She went on to engage the audience by guessing the nickname for the people of “Newcastle slash Gateshead” was “Peaches” and that their favourite word was “osteology” which we might use in reference to “sex, food and music” and with the audience sort of nervously hanging on every word; she went on to make the subtle point that we’re all the same as we all hope. Words as simple as anything but made more potent and thought provoking like St. Vincent does with her music. Classic tracks like ‘Cruel’ and ‘Marrow’ were delivered with the biggest and boldest transitions between the song’s subdued distance and towards the heavily distorted, yet direct riffs as she shuffled her feet in a manic fashion in unison with the strobe lights to make it seem she was almost hovering. All of this while she was still wresting with her guitar at the same time. A sight to behold.
 
She went on to talk about accidently stealing from Tesco or Sainsbury’s and setting fire to a neighbourhood with a magnifying glass with a real sinister yet comic tinge, before concluding “Shit man, that’s life”. Her marvellous song range then swept through ‘Laughing with a Mouth of Blood’, ‘Surgeon’ and ‘Actor Out Of Work’ before delivering ‘Cheerleader’ with a huge kick and a punch as the track pounded it’s way towards the chorus as she smoothly slipped into the mysterious and almost tragic nostalgia of ‘Prince Johnny’, which she delivered from atop her podium, standing bold and high above the stage and audience. Of course this ended with her haunting slither down her podium, encased with flashing lights and wailing synths. This uneasy and temporary inertia was soon broken by the synchronised moves of Clark and the rest of her band to the warped distortion of ‘Birth In Reverse’ and ‘Regret’. The latter extended the pause to about ten seconds and it was nearly a lifetime (or it felt as such) before she broke her freeze and continued with the song’s conclusion. ‘Huey Newton’ was still able to stand out amongst an entire set list of quite simply huge tracks. The meandering first half of the track was obliterated by the grinding, distorted drive of the second half, that featured quaking guitars that completely rattled you in the most thrilling way imaginable. Time to catch your breath is fleeting as the rapid tinged insanity of ‘Bring Me Your Loves’ fired and shot it’s way at your senses. As if in a wonderful paradox or perfect manipulation, the show or event was concluded by the lone St. Vincent playing out ‘Strange Mercy’ on her podium. Then with a bow she was off. That was it. It felt a little too fast as it would when you become completely immersed in something. Immersed in music for the first time without the comfort of my headphones or speakers in my room, but with the natural sounds enveloping me. No artist I have seen has ever done that and I think it’s the ultimate compliment to St. Vincent I can give. I was sat down throughout, but you had to be. It craved your undivided attention as she had given her undivided effort and imagination to it. It may sound so boringly cliché but it had a profound effect on me. I’m still having flashbacks…