CD Review: EVL – Strong Rock: Live!

Posted: February 7, 2012 by Windsor Zene in CDs, Reviews
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Back in early December, The Coach and Horses (156 Chatham St. W, Basement Level) hosted a local band as they recorded themselves a live album. In late December, that album was released.

EVL started as a recording project in 2007, has gone through numerous line-up changes and hiatuses (hiatui?) since then, and now has an album they call Strong Rock: Live! The “Strong Rock” part is a running joke the band has been going with for a while now, ever since they chalkboard outside Milk Coffee Bar described them thusly. Is it accurate? Meh. At times. Not exactly the wording that comes to my mind when I hear them, but I can see where one might think that

This particular collection of recordings starts off with In Your Mind, a rather eclectic track that mixes feelings of doom, punk, and being charged down by an army of occupy protestors, if they were to actually do such a thing. One of the best tracks on here, to be sure.

I’ll Keep Mine has a great moral, for any of those out there who might happen to be pro gay rights.  Great to hear opinions on this issue, especially when they’re ones I can sympathize with.

And because this band is just that ADD, from there we move on to a song about a card game. Solitaire has a decidedly melodic, Bad Religion-esque feel to it that I found quite enjoyable.

Lead vocalist Jawn Dee’s stylings are generally reminiscent of Bill Manspeaker, but in the track Working Class Majority, I find that his connection to the Green Jelly frontman extremely apparent. This entire track is a perfect example of the fast and dirty sound I typically associate with this band.

When you listen to Jesus is the Law, try to tell me you can’t picture the main guitar riff in an action film. I dare you. And excitingly groovy tune, I was really digging the drums on this one.

In covering the Misfit’s song Skulls they really sped it up, and gave it an all-over more gritty feel, while still keeping in the theme of creepily needing skulls. As if it’s possible to want to put skulls on a wall in an un-creepy way.

Out of Reach is a classic EVL tune, one that I can easily see protestors chanting as they toss fists into the air. Also get’s the band back into their morally charged songwriting.

The Black Flag influence is easily noted in the track Glory.

One of my favourites to hear live, Villain has a heavier feel and encompasses all of the aforementioned influences and reminiscences.  If all my favourite punk bands came together to make a song, I imagine it would be something like this.

Ending the whole experience with No, All by The Descendents is either very clever, or very lame. I’m torn as to which.

The band’s bass player Chris Wilbur did a great job on the recording and mixing, and now folks can get a taste of what an EVL show is like. Probably a good thing to have the available, as the band is set to return to their nearly perpetual state of hiatus after a show at The Dominion House Tavern on February 17th

Over all, let’s give this one an upside down cross, two and a half skulls, and a safety pin. Very enjoyable.

 

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