Three albums in and the electronic penny drops big time for the arty Manc four-piece
If you had Everything Everything down as “art rock indie, bit of synth”, you wouldn’t be far wrong. Their 2010 debut album, ‘Man Alive’, was too much frantic twangy guitar and we’d lost interest before the 2013 follow-up, ‘Arc’. And then along comes the recent single ‘Distant Past’, with its bright, nu rave chops. What’s all this then, we wondered.
While they’ve not gone all Aphex Twin or anything, ‘Get To Heaven’, EE’s third long-player, is full of proper synthy goodness thanks to one Stuart Price at the controls. Just ask Madonna, the Pet Shop Boys, Kylie and Take That what Stu can do. Thing is, this isn’t pop. Nope. This is a band and producer combo who have done a number on a bunch of seriously catchy tunes… then they’ve been scrunched up, frayed around the edges, and stubbed out underfoot. The result? A genuine curio of a record that’ll stay with you for a long, long time.
Tracks seem to start out full of infectious songmongering and end up descending into seedy, locked-down swirling keys, layer upon layer of deep rumblingness as they unfurl toward their conclusions. It’s as if they morph from indie shizz to machine music before your very ears. It’s a neat trick.
‘Fortune 500’ is an ocean wave of a song, breaking down over and over to build a wall of sound with voices and a wedding chime of electronics. The run-in to the end of ‘Warm Healer’ is a delight, a proper electrical soaking, a deep growl of bass that throbs towards the six-minute plus mark in a manner so pleasing you suspect it’s the record’s final track. But no, it’s just the start of a highly satisfying closing trio, each upping the ante. ‘The Wheel (Is Turning Now)’ digs in for an insistent uptempo romp, while ‘Zero Pharaoh’ is an irresistible, soaring, pop belter that climaxes in quite a swell with its rapid “Gimme the gun” refrain over and over.
Lyrically, ‘Get To Heaven’ is fairly out there too. Hiding behind some bizarre and pretty obscure wordplays, are the themes of brutal death and pointless destruction. Indeed, frontman Jonathan Higgs has admitted to being increasingly unsettled by his rolling news habit while writing these songs. Taking the biscuit is ‘No Reptiles’: “It’s alright to feel / Like a fat child / In a pushchair / Old enough to run / Old enough to fire a gun”. Yup. Yet all is well because, once again, underpinning it is the warmest repetitive electrical thrum and throb which waltzes in and out of a runaway sequencer doing the polka.
On this evidence, it would seem that Everything Everything have arrived at something of a crossroads. So which way to go? The bright lights of the Coldplay/Killers route are clearly calling, look at their record label, will you. Or there’s that alleyway over there. Looks sort of dark and a bit edgy, a step into the unknown. EE are capable of going either way. Album number four is going to be very interesting.