July 24 — “Wet Blanket” by Evans The Death

Evans The Death

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Wet Blanket” by Evans The Death (2012, from the album Evans The Death).

Evans The Death is an indie pop quintet from London who have just released their eagerly anticipated self-titled debut in May. They got started in 2008, but didn’t really get going until last year. They very quickly built some buzz, and the album was on a lot of “most anticipated records of the year” lists.

The band’s name comes from the name of the undertaker in a 1954 radio play Under Milk Wood”, written by the poet Dylan Thomas.

The core of the band is vocalist Katherine Whitaker, principal songwriter and guitarist Dan Moss, and his brother the guitarist Olly Moss (he played bass on the album). Robert Mitson plays drums. They’ve recently undergone a lineup change. Since they recorded the album, guitarist Matt Gill left the band, Olly took over on his guitar and they added bassist Lan McArdle from the Welsh band Joanna Gruesome.

People have been throwing around names like Pavement, Pixies, MBV to compare Evans the Death. I can sort of hear the Pavement thing, but I think the others are off base. Way off base, actually. On most tracks, I hear something more like Blondie. Now that I’ve been thinking about it, it would be brilliant if Evans The Death did a cover of “Hanging on The Telephone”. On other tracks, I hear something more like The Strokes.

Today’s song reminds me a bit of Heavenly. The song has a chorus/verse/chorus structure instead of the traditional verse/chorus/verse, and in the chorus, Whitaker’s singing reminds me of Amelia Fletcher’s. Then, strangely, in the verses, her singing reminds me of the dude from The Strokes. Not just her, though. The whole thing reminds me of The Strokes. Maybe, then, I should say that this song reminds me of what might happen if Amelia Fletcher took the stage with The Strokes.

This is that song.

You all know how much I love the Slumberland Records label, and this is one of their great triumphs of 2012. They had a very good spring, with great records from Violens (a post about them is forthcoming), this record, and the new one from Allo Darlin’. In June, they released the amazing record by Echo Lake, the brilliance of which was tempered by the tragic death of their drummer. Later this summer, they’ll release a new record by Slumberland poster children Lorelei. They released a smashing album — Everyone Must Touch the Stove— in 1995. The forthcoming album, Enterprising Sidewalks, their first in 17 years, will either be released on August 14, or in early September. Either way, it’s already been a great year for Slumberland Records and it’s only going to get better.

I love the coda. At 1:45, it starts what seems like a fade out, but there’s a minute to go. It’s all bass and drums and some shrieking birds or something like that. Then at 2:19, there’s one more chorus. And with much more feeling the last time. More noise, anyway. It’s a great trick. After you’ve been fooled into thinking that it’s going to be a long slow fade, there’s one hard smash in the mouth right at the end.

You can get Evans The Death digitally from loads of legal downloading places including eMusic. I’ll strongly suggest, however, that you order a physical copy of the album directly from Slumberland Records here. I got mine in the post just yesterday. I can only speak about the CD packaging, but there’s one really peculiar thing about it. I don’t know if it was intentional or if it was a misprint, but all of the tracks on side B (7-12) are numbered 7. Maybe it means something. Maybe it doesn’t. It’s a great little record, though, and you should support the band and the label by purchasing a copy.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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