Monday 14 January 2013

Everything Everything | Arc (Review)

With an already Mercury Prize nominated debut that received great acclaim it would seem Everything Everything have a lot to live up to the second time around. Not to mention a more populated than ever music scene with an eruption of new band's the Manchester four piece would have to pull out all the stops to fulfil the air of speculation surrounding record number 2.

And pull out all the stops they sure did. Arc is a triumph in their new musical direction. A tamer feat than their debut avoiding any lackadaisical approach by formulating their sound in to a mature blend of attainable, synth-infused Indie pop. With radio DJ's becoming more aware of the shift in musical tastes Arc would slot nicely in to any daytime show whilst feeling equally at home as a crowd pleaser at any nightclub or live show. Think a more purified, accessible version of Man Alive.

And it's this idea that leads us in with two delightfully received singles, Cough Cough and Kemosabe. Both demonstrating the band's capability at producing angular math-rock inspired anthems.
Leaving behind the more greatly sparse and quiet Torso Of The Week with its jittery pace and jagged guitars Duet hits hard with its rich harmonious tones. Whilst lead singer Jonathan Higgs draws you in with his prosperity seeking lyrics "Do you feel left behind, like there's something not right" a string section builds beneath creating the warmth we longfully desire. A track that is nothing short of uplifting aspiration.

One thing that remains constant throughout this album is the band's ability to create subtle crescendos that formulate an energy of monstrous power. Such is the case with Choice Mountain. Beginning in a Foals-esque jangly guitar fashion it's the tracks expansive nature that carries it forward beautifully displaying Higgs' versatile vocal patterns.

I want to say Undrowned allows you to catch your breath but once again the band's forceful exertion begins to take a hold. Sharp lyricism that devours your heart and soul as Higgs taunts of your demise "First, boy, I think you should know, if you try hard then you might get a part as a doe-eyed, impressionist mime, bare as the lives of the footballers' wives, that surround you, with diamonds aloft, a system of pistons arachnid and blistered....".

At long last we're released from their high energetic grasp with tracks such as Arc and The House Is Dust. Both evidently showcasing a more delicate and pulchritude side to band's hardened exterior. A definite maturity and profoundly more exquisite pattern emerges which is a nice introduction to my favourite on the album, The Peaks. In true style its ever so captivating charm glistens as the track builds upon austerity and self loathing. Higgs' falsetto style vocals carry you though on a heartfelt bed of pain. A sincere and remarkable reminder that EE have a whole sleeve jam packed full of tricks.

If anyone had told me before the release of this album that it would shape up to be the phenomenal delight it has proven to be then I might not have believed them. But Arc has shone in a new light showing you don't have to give up catchy hooks and dramatic guitar riffs to create a more grown up cultured sound. Whilst their debut was a giant success, its sometimes experimental indiscisiveness  somewhat held it back from great exposure. Something Arc will be sure to revel in, with a clear and concise message of consistency that will no doubt stand the test of time. Welcome to 2013. The year of Everything Everything.

The album is available to purchase now here, here, here & at all other good retailers.


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