Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Evangelicals--The Evening Descends (2008)

Album-The Evening Descends
Release Date-Jan 22, 2008
Genre/Style-Indie Rock


Review-On their second album, the Evangelicals continue in the vein of fragmented and openly loopy psychedelic pop/rock dementia that treasures silence and one or two instrument arrangements as much as full-on big-band rampage. Which is no bad thing, since a little of the latter can go a long way in the early 21st century. The "junior Flaming Lips" tag that the group has had since the start, due as much to the accident of geography in coming from Oklahoma as to the music, isn't entirely going to disappear here, but unlike so many neo-Supertramps that have followed in Wayne Coyne's wake, the Evangelicals strain a lot less in creating their whimsical songs. If anything, Animal Collective would be more of an obvious comparison, but the Evangelicals feel a little more straightforward than said group — if less inventive on the one hand, definitely less laden with overbearing expectations on the other. A number like "Midnight Vignette" plays around with Beach Boys harmonies as much as any other group these days, but the feeling is more of a woozy lounge jam, while the sudden focus and then spiraling silences of "Party Crashin'" are the band's own creation. The demented laughter on the break for "Skeleton Man, " the easygoing nearly spoken word start of "Stoned Again" — the most appropriate title for this kind of music and then some — and the muffled vocal mania on the increasingly more frenetic "Bellawood" are all treats, but somehow it's the xylophone (if it is one) and singing on "Paperback Suicide" that sums up this album best, a winsome and not entirely stable treat.

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