Monday, February 14, 2005

Ian MacKaye and Amy Farina: The Evens

There is a review of the Evens, a new project that Ian MacKaye is involved in with Amy Farina, in the Palo Alto Weekly. Here's some of it:

Although the music contains elements of folk, it is not that easy to categorize. MacKaye's voice blends with Farina in a manner somewhat reminiscent of John Doe and Exene Cervenka's vocal copulation in X. MacKaye and Farina do not accompany one another so much as meld together, creating a unified voice for the songs' often political lyrics.

Musically, the guitars chug along like classic Velvet Underground without falling into the trap of rewriting Lou Reed's "Pale Blue Eyes" ad nauseam, a curse that has afflicted many indie bands in the past 25 years. Highlights include the charged "All These Governors," which features memorable drumming from Farina and the inspirational couplet, "Shut up! Shut up! Shut Up!"; the placid "Sara Lee," which may or may not refer to the post-punk bassist who graced several Gang of Four, Indigo Girls and Ani DiFranco albums; and "You Won't Feel A Thing," a good, swift kick in the gonads to society's state of complacency.

Most surprising -- to fans of Fugazi's jagged song structures at least -- are the memorable and relatively straightforward melodies, which ensure close listening for each and every minute of the CD. Although subtle enough for background music, The Evens' songs float to the forefront of your consciousness in very little time.

The Evens are definitely recommended to those curious about MacKaye's past works but who have little interest in punk rock. For the rest of us, it is yet another fine entry from a man who has made a career out of doing it his way.
Sounds promising.

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