Where It All Began…

We all have to start somewhere, and this review of Californian band Evaline is the first proper review I ever wrote. I was working at The Ocelot magazine at the time on sales, and we had been offered the band by label we had connections with, Riverman (of grunge promo fame in the early 90’s) for a promo show as they were launching their debut album. It coincided with the magazines 5th birthday celebration, so we grabbed them to play the planned show. I decided to support the show we needed a review of the upcoming record, so I took it upon myself to cobble this effort together, which was published online only, on 21st June 2011.

Evaline – Woven Materiel

Released June 27th 2011 on Riverman Records

Well, yes it is obvious we are including this review because they are playing at the Big Cat’s (that’s The Ocelot) 5th birthday party. However, it is also worth mentioning that the other reason to review this album is because it is generally very good, and we want to be able to have you say you heard of them here first when they make it big!

And make it big they surely will for they are pretty much the complete package. They have an abundance of musical talent, song writing skills that have created a record of radio friendly tracks, appear to be jolly nice blokes, and let’s be honest are not that bad looking a bunch of lads. Singer Richard Perry has that Orlando Bloom look down, and drummer Greg is in possession of a torso more commonly seen on the cover of Men’s Health.

But what about the music? What you have with this album is a selection of properly anthemic rock songs that bring in a lot of influences or invite a lot of comparisons but still seem to have an original element to them. Those looking for short cut comparisons could consider 30 Seconds to Mars or early Radiohead, but that does not really cover all bases fairly. The production is lush and full, each track has plenty going on with percussion, string arrangements, synths and guitar tweaks galore. There are stadium friendly hooks and melodies everywhere, and plenty of original touches like the crashing percussive elements in “Ascend” or inventive melodies in “There There”. If I was to level one criticism however, in parts I feel perhaps there is a little too much going on and some of the central melodies and vocals become a bit lost in the busy mix. This does nonetheless mean I am really looking forward to hearing how these songs translate into a live environment. Fingers crossed they are a little more raw and stripped down so you can appreciate the craft that has gone into them.

But overall it is a well balanced record, with heavier, crunchy tunes like my highlight track “Hours” with its huge chorus and more delicate moments like power ballad “All in My Mind” giving the record a nice flow of highs and lows. The overriding feeling is that these songs belong to a polished stadium suited band, which let’s hope turns out to be the case.

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