Evergreen Terrace

Almost Home

Written by: TL on 25/10/2009 19:09:54

I remember listening to Evergreen Terrace back when they released "Wolfbiker", an album that sadly never got reviewed because the assigned writer quit before he had time to write about it. I say sadly because as I gave that record a few spins, Evergreen Terrace seemed to me like a very promising alternative to the gray masses of generic tough guy outfits that plague their genre of origin: hardcore. They had melody, they had energy and they had accessibility, things that I find most would-be mosh pit instigators lack, and on top of that, they seemingly also had humour, at least if their quirky song titles were anything to judge from.

Now odd song titles are still a plenty on the band's new album "Almost Home"; but still, it's hard to believe that the band can be joking, because when singer Andrew Carey howls "SET ME FREEEEEE" and "Enemy Sex" kicks off the record, ET come at the listener with all the urgency and relentlessness of a speeding freight train. The song is fast and furious, driven by a beat that belongs in hardcore punk, but it goes far beyond that, by including more melodic riffage than you can shake a stick at, a clean yet still appropriately manly chorus (think BoySetsFire maybe?) and epic, unapologetic soloing. Now take all those elements, shake them up and you're ready for the second track "Almost Home (III)", which is basically more of the same, starting out by sending your thoughts in the direction of Alexisonfire's fantastic "Accidents" track and including a solo in the middle that kicks more ass than I can even explain.

Throughout the album, you can expect more similar awesomeness, for instance from tracks like "Sending Signals" and "We're Always Losing Blood", both of which slow Evergreen Terrace down to medium speed for short periods, only to compensate with, you guessed it, more blistering speed and great soloing. However, that's not all ET are capable of, as they prove with the downright scary "God Rocky, Is This Your Face?". Here, all notions of melodic, Alexisonfire-ish riffage is abandoned in favour of a dirty, uncompromising groove and breakdowns full of discord. And it still works, and it proves a point I think is wonderful, because even though "Almost Home" is actually full of breakdowns and purposeful brutality, it never feels trite, rather it inspires you with that destructive mood that is the purpose of breakdowns.

If you ask me, the key to this accomplishment is that ET, like only a few other bands I know (Circus Circus and Metallica come to mind), manage to send wave upon wave of goodness in over the listener, doing it at such high speed that you're forced to listen closely and repeatedly to catch every little good bit. When intensity is kept up like this, a good breakdown just makes all the more sense. And of course it doesn't hurt that most of them are also backed with more melodic guitar lines or catchy refrains.

I guess you could argue that, over the second part of the album, more variety in the expression could do wonders, and that if ET had a more impressive clean vocalist they would be awesome beyond belief, but those are small worries about a record that just gives you that classic feeling of "HOLY SHIT THIS IS AWESOME!". In my mind at least, this is melodic hardcore punk at its fullest potential, and fuck me sideways would I like to see it live.

Download: Sending Signals, Almost Home (III), Enemy Sex
For The Fans Of: Circus Circus, Alexisonfire, Therefore I Am, Story Of The Year, BoySetsFire, Comeback Kid,
Listen: myspace.com/evergreenterrace

Release Date 29.09.2009
Metal Blade Records

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