'Black Is The New Black'
THE END RECORDS
It's been ten years since Everclear went through a some changes in not only line up, but also with leaving major label Columbia behind. Now the band have returned with the next step in their renaissance with 'Black Is The New Black'. Funded by the fans through Pledge Music and currently being streamed on Pandora Radio, this new release is already getting a lot of good responses from the fans, and there's a reason for that.
From it's opening riff on 'Sugar noise' we get the sense that Art and the crew have come back strong. Putting to good use the experiences gained from the 'Summerland' tours and following the anniversary of the band's breakthrough record 'Sparkle And Fade'. This album is heavier, angrier and to the point, something we haven't heard since the 'Songs From An American Movie' set. It's follow up track 'The Man Who Broke His Own Heart' is a cheeky yet lovable tune with a hook you'll be singing along to for a long while. It's almost as if Art is over his love sick ways seen in 'Invisible Stars', which was their pop-iest outing, and has an incredible return to form with an addictive chorus that will make your spirit rise. It's this along with tracks like 'American Monster' and 'This Is Your Death song' that give the impression that Alexakis is the last of the broken hearted once again, setting up his boombox outside a girl's window, forlorn to the nth degree.
Not that it's all bittersweet revenge and bitter laced rock. 'Van Gough Sun' is probably one of the softer numbers on the album where Art's self deprecating soul is laid bare. With an upbeat disposition it still doesn't become a soppy balled, yet it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end . Finishing on 'Safe' ,an emerging dark rock spectacle, it makes you wonder if Alexakis is truly happy, and if he is then this record is by far the cleverest he has ever done, creating pain, misery and self-doubt where there may not be any; a true musicians dream.
'Black Is The New Black' is a record we can finally once again relate to, and with it comes the sound we are familiar with when we first think of Everclear. Gone is the older gent, with a twinkle of nostalgia in his eye, and replaced is the beast, fire in his belly and even more so in his soul. If you're going through a rough time and you're sick of wallowing, then strap on this album and start becoming who you used to be... maybe burn a few photos... and a teddy bear... just not her front porch.