June 29, 2006

Evangelicals "So Gone"

Ten songs, no muss, no fuss. That's the gist of Evangelicals' debut album, So Gone. This little band hails from Norman, Oklahoma, and their sound is a bit psychedelic, but please don't mistake them for being a Flaming Lips clone, because they're not. No, no, no! No, this young group doesn't really bare much resemblance to the Lips; in fact, the only group I could possibly compare them to would be a weird meld of David Baker's Mercury Rev with Pale Saints. That's not so far-fetched, considering that lead singer Josh Jones sings with the same sugary-sweet almost-falsetto style that Ian Masters perfected, and that the music behind him is a bit shambolic and rickety in that Yrself is Steam kind of way.

Every song on So Gone feels like it's about to fall apart, but somehow the band manages to pull it together, and the result is charming and pleasant pop. Jones's crooning on songs "Another Day" and "The Water is Warm" and "Hello Jen, I'm A Mess" is gorgeous and heartfelt, and it's a pleadingly deceptive style that makes you overlook the fact that the music behind it is frantic and sounds just damn near amateurish. Oh, and the music isn't amateurish at all. It just sounds that way; keyboards and guitars wail loudly and softly, and all kinds of sonic manipulations create the effect of swirling round and round and round, as if you're spinning around in an aural washer and dryer. Oh, and on "Diving," they simply focus their efforts and dispense with the looseness, which sends their music straight into lounge music territory. This is a good thing. This is a very, very good thing.

So Gone is, simply put, a great record; it's an excellent debut record, and it certainly makes promises about this young band's future. Considering that this record is a reissue of their debut from a year or so ago, this music's already a few years old, which means that their next record will have been preceded by years of maturity and growth. Bring on the next record, guys! And in the meantime, So Gone will suffice. One of this year's (in a way) better debut albums.

Be their friend! Evangelicals' Myspace Page
Label Website: http://www.misrarecords.com/

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