Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Ice Hockey, Molson, Rush, Evans Blue??? That’s right, the next great import from Canada is here. EVANS BLUE first impacted our eardrums in 2006 with their smash hit “Cold (But I’m Still Here)” from their debut album The Melody and The Energetic Nature of Volume. After a mediocre follow-up effort, the boys from Toronto parted ways with singer Kevin Matisyn and headed south of the border for his replacement Dan Chandler. And in his first album with the band, Dan proves that he was worth the price of the passport.
The album kicks off with the hard rocking “Buried Alive”, merely using it as a warm-up for the aural assault that is the radio hit “Sick of It”. EVANS BLUE continue the onslaught with such tracks as “The Future in the End” and “A Step Back”, before hitting us with…a guest appearance from Three Days Grace??? Not quite, but “Say It” could easily have been a track that would be comfortably at home on their fellow Ontarians’ “Life Starts Now”.
Soon after the influence heads south of the border again…way south. I honestly almost checked the liner notes for a guest appearance from Carlos Santana when I heard the guitar in first minute of “Who We Are”. And then… possibly the best track on the album, radio hit number two, “Bulletproof” shows us why Dan Chandler is destined to take this band to the next level. Keeping with the head bobbing atmosphere, we delve into “I Blame You”, in which guitarist Parker Lauzon takes out his frustrations for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ futility on his strings.
Things are taken down a notch on the mid-tempo “Can’t Go On”, but keep in mind, I said “a notch”. As we saw in the beginning EVANS BLUE like to hit us with a little teaser before kicking our asses with the finale that is “Erase My Scars”. There is no doubt that this album will “erase my scars” from listening to the band’s prior effort, The Pursuit…, and make me listen until my ears turn a shade of blue…EVANS BLUE. This album comes very highly recommended.
EVANS BLUE‘s self titled third album hits stores in the U.S. tomorrow, July 27th. For more info on EVANS BLUE, including tour dates, and to purchase the album, visit http://www.evansblue.com/
Rating: 7 out of 10
Though not typically a fan of British emo-rock, when reviewing albums I always follow the self-imposed edict that all music deserves a chance. Union, the new album from the U.K.’s Intervurt was no exception, and quite frankly, that’s a good thing. The album’s opening track “Suffering” kicks things off with an industrial style opening chord, which quickly breaks into an upbeat melting pot of Depeche Mode, early U2, and INXS all rolled into one. “Suffering” sets the tone for the next three tracks which follow in it’s footsteps stylistically, until…
Track 5, “Scars and Stripes” hits us with a musical styling reminiscent of The Nixons’ “Foma”, one of the few non-metal albums from the 90′s that I still find myself occasionally listening to. From there, things continue to change, with the next offering “Diesel”. One of the better tracks on the album, “Diesel” draws a comparison to something that could’ve easily been included on Scott Weiland‘s drug-induced hallucination that he called “Barbarella”. The album finds it’s own “Industrial Revolution” with the next track, “Merla”. Perhaps my favorite song on the album, “Merla” is a musical mesh of part Radiohead, part Stabbing Westward.
The metamorphosis doesn’t stop here, however… “The Fear” brings back a U2 feel, that would make Bono choke on his Guinness. Intervurt continue the up-tempo onslaught with “Saturday Night”, before leaving us with one more welcome dose of Radiohead, known as “City of Moods”.
All in all, Intervurt has done a brilliant job with this offering, and makes this metal-head raise a pint to the boys from Britain. Trust me on this one, at the risk of sounding like less of a man, open your mind and cast your prejudices aside, this album comes highly recommended. If you’re a fan of Depeche Mode, Radiohead, U2, The Cure, or even Queens of the Stone Age, this album is for you.