Friday, 17 February 2012

Evaline - Woven Material

It had been over four years since Evaline's last major release, and this album was long overdue. Over those four years, Evaline did extensive touring on the "Taste of Chaos" tour supporting The Used, 30 Seconds to Mars, Aiden, Dir en Gray, and other bands. They were also on Warped Tour which helped them gain a substantial fan base. I saw them at Taste of Chaos '07 and Warped Tour '08. They have a fantastic stage presence and sound much more solid than most other bands on those tours. After listening to "Postpartum Modesty. A portrait of Skin" for many years and falling in love with their sound, I impatiently awaited this release.

The band did release a three song EP shortly before releasing "Woven Material". After listening to that release it was obvious that their sound had changed. They used to have intricate textures and varying instrumentation, and while the vocalist was the same they are much more traditional sounding. There are many bands that have a similar sound to this.

The opening song, "Beneath the Fire" was also on "Patterned". I was excited because I thought that it would be a new version of that song, but instead it was the same exact one that was previously released. That was disappointing. This song is extremely drawn out and while it doesn't sound horrible, by the last minute and a half of the song, I cant wait for it to end.

"There, There" is a single that the band is trying to push. This track is simple and catchy, but is a prime example of how the band's sound has changed drastically since "Postpardum Modesty. A Portrait of Skin". There are heavily distorted guitar riffs repeated throughout the song. Instead of being a progressive piece, the songs have taken on a more traditional song structure. What once made the band stand out is gone and they are blending into the pop emo rock genre that many bands on their tours have been associated with.

My favourite song on this album is easily "Ascend". I like to listen to this song in my car while I drive. The textures in this song are really nice and the lyrics have good imagery. "I want that cold, cold water running up your thighs, And let this sweet, sweet tree hollow out your eyes, And what the body condemns, impatiently obscure, We'll let this guilt be the virtue we needn't bestow". This song sounds really dreaming and delicate, its great! "Equally" is another one of this album's gems. The vocal phrasing is really fresh and nice.

"Hours" is another nice song, but also on "Patterned" in its same form, which is disappointing. I've seen people comment on the band's page on various website that this is the best song they have ever heard. While this song is one of the nice ones of this album, it isn't the best song I've ever hear. It is really nice though, a lot heavier with louder and distorted guitars with an edgy riff, but the vocals are cutting and edgy.

Overwhelming shapes was really interesting. The music seemed nice, but if you actually listen to the lyrics, I think what they is a bit bizarre.... "I am finding there's no useful friends, I am finding I'm drunker then all of them, In my sober state of love in parlay woven materials", "On his hands you smell another's darling, Now you're not leaking there from underneath, Her little scalp is on the pavement darling, You're always naked, No matter how much you wear, So fuck all your clothes, The orphan sells his arm". Very strange lyrics indeed.

Overall, I had very high expectations for this album and feel pretty let down. "Postpartum Modesty. A Portrait of Skin" was really fantastic, and while this album had its moments, I find that Evaline has turned into a more generic sounding band. The use of group vocals and yelling the choruses and background killed many of the songs. I loved "Ascend", "Equally", and "Hours", but the rest of the album is lack luster and typical. I still love the band and feel that a lot of people have been receptive to this album, but I personally am not impressed.


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