Evans the Death - Evans the Death

by Rich Morris Rating:5 Release Date:2012-03-30

Evans the Death specialise in classic flavor indie-pop. This self-titled debut is brimming, without variation or deviation, with fuzzy power-chords, jangly strumming, elementary drumbeats and bass which sounds like the player learnt the basic chords this morning. There are no exotic twists such as hi-life guitar, 80s synth-pop flourishes or post-dance music vertical integration. This is white bread indie fan stuff. Over the C86 noise, singer Katherine Whitaker plays Ms Morrissey, giving us her best flailing arm dance across the suburban detritus of her life, almost certainly consisting of poetry books, stacks of vinyl and empty packets of Findus Crispy Pancakes.

To be fair, she does have a likeable sense of humour which she manages to inject into her moaned-out lyrics: "I'm afraid of getting a job/ I'm afraid of my neighbour's dog," she tells us on 'Catch Your Cold', while on 'I'm So Unclean' she misery-moos, "When I'm making a sandwich I will think of you". She also has a neat line in witty couplets, as evidenced on the opening 'Bo Diddley' where she manages to rhyme "pointing out my posture" with "those remarks are gonna cost ya". Then there's a song called 'A Small Child Punched Me in the Face', which you have to admit is possibly the best song title ever. Overall, though, she probably wants to be Morrissey and/or Edwyn Collins a little too much and it makes it hard to take her lyrical and vocal archness as anything other than indie fan love letter.

The same goes for the music on this album, and in fact all music of this ilk, which long ago ceased to stand on its own merits and now exists only in relation to the records it sits next to: a whole sound-world of floppy fringes, faded jeans, milky tea, windy days at the sea, tour t-shirts, pissy larger, vintage dresses, old music mags and bedroom posters. You know exactly what this record sounds like because you already own all the records which influenced it. If you love this band, you will love them because they sound like all the bands you already love. Reason enough for Whitaker to sound a bit mopey, I suppose.

Only on 'Threads' do Evans the Death manage to sound like something different, in this case early Elastica in all their garrulous, sexy glory. It's an excellent couple of minutes. As for the rest, it's not actually bad, it's just... Well, it's not essential.

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