Tuesday, 5 August 2008

CD Review: Everything on Red - 'Everything on Red'

Steve Dean

Noted for their slick arrangements and meticulous timing, Everything on Red have produced a 4-track EP that states most satisfyingly where the band are at right now in terms of musical identity and direction.

Opening track ‘Neveroddoreven’ demonstrates their considerable ability most adequately. In some ways, they put me in mind of keyboards-heavy late 60s/early70s bands like The Nice and to a lesser extent Atomic Rooster, although within Everything on Red, musical duties are pretty much divided equally among its four members. A well-disciplined outfit, they are almost watertight however complex the arrangement they put together.

The quirkily-titled ‘Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder’ deviates from their regular path in that it has a more definite riff than their usual rapidly morphing compositions. Some thoughtfully penned lyrics to boot. Nicely layered harmonies make this an exceptional song.

‘Take the Plunge’, leaning almost towards the classical in places, sounds like Bach himself has made a few suggestions. Some nice leadwork from Alex James as well. He and the other members; skilful drummer James Rathmal, Sam Brown on bass and Tom Brown on keys play to a very high standard throughout and this EP gives a very definite taste of what heights this very able band is capable of reaching.

The last track, ‘This is How it Will End’, with its neat opening guitar line and heartfelt vocals begins in a slightly more mellow vein before heading into the more complex territory where one senses this band feels most at home.

Not an immediately commercial EP, but I’m not sure if that is the band’s intention anyway. Fine songwriting and arrangement skills along with inspired musicianship make this an impressive first release.

‘Everything on Red’ is available at gigs and from Roadkill Records in Manchester and Music Mania in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

Hear 'Neveroddoreven' and 'Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder' on http://www.myspace.com/everythingonred

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