Album Review | Everything Everything – Arc
Words by Scenewave Oz - Published on March 27, 2013
Well, I’ve had over two months to ponder, re-articulate and redefine my views on this one, and I’m glad I have. This is truly one of most funky, catchy and all in all progressive albums to come out in the last 12 months.
I’m almost certain the more you listen to an album before you put finger to keyboard, the better. I’m convinced that repeated exposure to music sharpens your views, whether bad or good, – and the more time you research an album or the artist who released it, the better; sometimes the most obscure fact mid research can illuminate your understanding of it.
I’ve listened to Arc daily, religiously, not because I’m religious (far from the truth), but because its an album that is full of stories and tales that have me hooked like a Cronulla Sharks player to Thymosin Beta 4.
I’ve listened to Arc daily, religiously, not because I’m religious (far from the truth), but because its an album that is full of stories and tales
I think back to the moment I was first given the pleasure of hearing Everything Everything back in 2011, and I was immediately attracted to their point of difference. They are not afraid to throw in something sideways, unusual and break through the mould with their sounds and progressions.
OK. So they open their sophomore album with a track called ‘Cough Cough’ and lordy may, this is a tune oozing with amazingness. Blending a rhythmic drum sequence from the outset, the lads fuse some delicious harmonies, and drop a massive bass/lyric, “baddd”. Wow. The bridge is swamped with all sorts of excitement with, “but I’m coming alive!, I’m happening now” followed by a stupidly catchy chorus, “And that Eureka moment hits you like a cop car!” Finishing with a quirky set of coughing fits.
Now ‘Cough Cough’ lures you into this album, and then they drop the second track, ‘Kemosabe’. The layers in this one are sensational. A falsetto infused chorus that makes Jonsi’ jealous, and even maybe borrowed Muse’s ‘Hey!!’ out of ‘Undisclosed Desired’, they wind through this one effortlessly. A track that will undoubtedly be many a DJ’s remix target. Two stellar opening tracks – the first singles off the album – that are hard to get off repeat.
‘Torso of the Week’ is a tune of a quirky tale about a woman who is wanting that ideal body image, which we’re always constantly reminded of these days. She just jumps on the treadmill and is just going and going and going. Lead singer, Jonathan Higgs takes it up a notch vocally throughout, with the track full of countless mute picking and the catchy, “what you wrestling with, what you wrestling wrestling with, girl you been hitting that treadmill like a freak.” Brilliant.
Cello intro, mixed with flawless vocals, ‘Duet’ builds a stunning platform with a backing violin throughout! It’s their recently dropped single, so expect to hear this one on repeat through the airwaves. I wasn’t too sold on the track, but as I’ve listened over the last few months it’s getting more of a workout. As Higgs quotes a line directly from the movie Casablanca, “of all the dead volcanoes on Earth, you just happened to retch and roll through mine.” He explains, “the track is about being with someone you love at the end of the world, even if it’s just the world that you both share.”
‘Choice Mountain’- I think it’s the subtly of this track which has me coming back. It’s a dumbed down, depressing tune, with one guitar, which has me drifting off to a scene from a sad Disney movie. Although it’s slow, it adds an element of spice to the album’s darker side.
The next two tracks are my picks for the album, ‘Feet for Hands’, and ‘Undrowned’. Beatific strumming from the outset, they drop a super harmonic drumming progression, which will have you tapping your hand in no time. I feel the track’s lyrics are about the coping and adaptation to a sudden change in ones life. My favourite part of the track though is when they tone it down for 10 seconds and pose the question, “you ask me how many fingers am I holding up, I don’t know what is taking me so long. Lets get up off the floor and use our feet for hands!” in a fashion which breaks the track in two. Brilliant. ‘Undrowned’ is a tongue winding journey of exhilaration about the music biz. The track is embezzled with Jonathan Higgs’ vocal range which really drives through, throughout. The crescendo to climax at 2.25 tops off one of my favourites on the album quite nicely.
They then jump to ‘Armourland’ and ‘Radiant’. Upping the tempo for both, with ‘Armourland’ being your typical love song, with the lyrics stating, “I wanna take you home, blackout our windows, and hold you till we die!” The drumming and guitar throughout are addictive with once again Higgs driving the track with his lyrical prowess.
Moving on to ‘The Peaks’ and ‘_Arc_’, although they’re great tunes in their own rights, they don’t fit well for me as apart of this single ridden sophomore. ‘Don’t Try’ makes up for this and blasts out some more accustomed EE sounds, with my view that this will be a solid single off the album. A cracking track which is laced with a notion of not holding back on how you’re feeling, and to speak up at times when you’re struggling.
Finishing the album with ‘Awe/Arc’, ‘No Plan’ and ‘Justice’, the lads not only finish on a high note (not only in a lyrical sense), but we’re left with the fact that Everything Everything have established a benchmark with ‘Arc’ that a lot of bands are striving towards. I couldn’t agree more that ‘Arc’ is full of pop hits. This is a fact. But it’s the elements of differences, and quirkiness throughout that keeps these four lads a punch above the rest in what they do.
I can’t wait to see what they’ve got up their sleeves next.