Everything Everything - Village Underground, London 23/10/12
Pop is not a dirty word, so the oft-repated mantra goes. And it's not; but far too much of the time in the present day if you have a brief listen to Top 40, you'll be greeted with insipid - albeit well-produced - homogenous, electronic fodder that is derivative as it is crass. Read this piece on The 405 for a full critique. Of course there are very welcome exceptions.
Manchester-based Everything Everything are most certainly one of these, who charmed the indie-world back in 2010 with intricate, dazzling and inventive debut album Man Alive. The Mercury Music Prize nominated album was a savy blend of leftfield antics from an alternative lexicon with delightfully catchy hooks, and tonight at the Village Undeground on their UK tour are readying themselves, or more accurately their growing fanbase, for forthcoming album Arc, due January 14th 2013.
The tall, red-bricked cavernous Village Underground stems, as the names suggests, underground, but towers upwards with a stratospheric ceiling; and, if you'll allow me I'll extend this into a clumsy analogy in relation to their music for a sentence. In that in many ways they should be part of the underground with obtuse, off-kilter guitar licks and surreal lyrics and delivery - but with the pomp and melodies to push them into the upper echelons of success. And tonight showcases this.
Plush new suits ('Whadya think?' exclaims Joanthan Higgs in a rare moment of audience interaction) replace the boiler suits of old, as the five on stage blast through two crowd favourites in the form of 'Suffragette Suffragette', which tickles its way at the start before going all crunchy and riffy followed by anthemic 'QWERTY Finger'.
An untitled new track follows that's full of hooky 'wooooahs' and 'ahhhhhs', and from a first listen it seems EE have grand designs to continue from where they left off in terms of delicious pop nuggets. The set consists of a healthy mix of debut-album pleasers, and boy it turns out there's a lot of them (Man Alive really was a consistent album wasn't it?) with fresh material.
Recent single 'Cough Cough', which went Top 40, brings proceedings to a temporary halt before the encore, with it's tight, snare-thrashing call-to-arms aesthetic, and glorious chorus breakdown that will bring down a festival one day. A three-track finale ends with highly-jaunty, grin-inducing 'Photoshop Handsome' and brings a throughly enjoyable evening to a climatic end.
Having dipped their toes in the confused ocean of popular music with their first LP, on the evidence of tonight they are readying themselves to dive straight in from new material aired here - diving in the most suave, double-piked 9.0 way of course. All this whilst maintaining their credibility and bespoke style - pop music that's as intelligent and mature as it is fun and grandiose.
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