In 2012 Markus Thales, Matthew Tayvis, Sammy Kovic and Justen Nielsen formed The Evening Shades. The band has gone on to establish an impressive fan base from their live shows and recently released a twelve-song album entitled Alright.
They make palatable indie rock not unlike contemporary bands such as The Strokes, The Killers and Phoenix which all were at their most popular a couple of years back. You can also hear the influence of the bands that influence those bands. A number of garage bands that would frequent CBGB’s like Television come to mind.
If you can simply sit back and enjoy poppy rock song you will have no problem taking all of Alright in and playing it on repeat. This isn’t an experimental album and the songs aren't pushing any boundaries. The band plays into their strengths, which is making catchy songs that are extremely easy to swallow. These songs don’t take make effort to appreciate but you could imagine a pretentious hipster complaining that the songs are too easy to enjoy.
As far as the production and recording quality is concerned I have no issues. It sounds great and strikes a nice balance between a band playing live in a room and competent engineers who know how to make a band sound good.
The band opens with a solid song entitled “Forgive Me.” Out of the twelve songs this one reminded perhaps most of The Strokes. Something about the strumming of the guitar parts and the section around fifty-seconds in sounds similar to Julian Casablancas. That being said the song is catchy and not one you should pass up.
“Game Show” is a highlight. There's nothing too fancy going on with this song it’s just upbeat, fun and certainly one that will put you in a good mood. The band does a decent amount of rocking out on “It’s All About You” while “Here and Now” is another highlight and I thoroughly enjoyed the reverb-coated vocals on the bridge.
As the album continues the songwriting is consistently good. There weren’t any songs that lacked energy and focus. “Second to None” and “Can’t Afford To Die” continue to establish the band’s sounds. The only song that has a noticeably different vibe is the closer “Any Louder.” It’s atmospheric towards the beginning and eventually gets to a rocking point towards the middle. It’s unlike anything else on the album.
The Evening Shades are one of the stronger, more refined bands that seem to have been influenced by the resurgence of garage rock brought on by bands of The Strokes. Truth be told this is still a very popular genre for bands to embark on not only because the music usually doesn’t demand a high degree of technical ability but because it is quite fun to play live. The only advice I would give the band is to continue to strive for an original sound that can help separate them from the herd. I’m not talking about adding a French horn but the minor subtleties and nuances in the music can end up making a defining characteristic,.
Overall, Alright is a very consistent album that has a ton of replay value and fits for a myriad of situations. It’s good music to work out to, have on at a party or just listen to while sitting in your apartment. Recommended.
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