Unfortunately for new band Evans Blue, they’re entering the music scene at the wrong time. In a market dominated by punk’s disintegrative subdivisions; pop punk, emo, screamo, emocore, hardcore, and any other of its off-shoots, the alternative, post-grunge, hard rock scene has all been but diminished and narrowly labeled as “modern rock” or even worse “alternative pop rock.” This is mainly due to the fact that most alternative bands today are associated with the “corporate rock” it becomes rather then staying true to its eclectic beginnings. As such, most bands filed under this label are quickly dismissed as another bland sounding hard rock band, void of distinction and never really given a fair chance.
The large majority of bands today find success imitating their peers; focusing on style rather then substance. This, of course, is the harsh cycle of rock musical trends, which starts off with a brilliantly eclectic sound until its energy is corporately harnessed, turning bands into bland sounding duplications, and fading both band and genre into mediocrity. This does not mean, however, that some bands can triumph over these restrictions and still make good music in their subjugated genre.
Evans Blue is a new band listeners can safely file under post grunge and/or hard rock and know they are getting what they paid for. On their debut album, “The Melody and the Energetic Nature of Volume,” the band has somewhat successfully merged many different styles and sounds of alternative/hard rock that have recently been crafted haphazardly by their peers.
The band’s sound can be attributed to equal parts A Perfect Circle and Staind, both in musical style and also in the way lead singer Kevin Matisyn croons on the disc, offering a vocal performance reminiscent of Staind’s front man Aaron Lewis. This sound is especially evident on tracks including “Stop And Say You Love Me” and the disc’s lead single “Cold (But I’m Still Here).” A tinge of Evanescence-inspired styling can be discerned on the Sarah McLachlan cover “Possession,” putting the group in danger of being labeled “hard rock mediocrity.” All things considered, however, “The Melody and the Energetic Nature of Volume” proves to be a strong debut that helps breathe a little life in a mostly stale format.
Give this track a second listen: “Stop and Say You Love Me.”
2 1/2 stars (out of 5)