EVEN – Even (Rubber Records)
This is the fifth album by Australian power-pop combo Even, and although their name is pretty much unknown outside their native country, their gloriously summery pop transcends international boundaries and so there should be no reason why they cannot get a bit of exposure over here. The brainchild of Ashley Naylor, they have been plying their trade since 1996, and I was impressed as soon as I heard the first guitar chords of recent single ‘I Am The Light’. This is pop music of the highest order, recalling masters of the genre such as Big Star, Cheap Trick, and The Knack, and more recently The Feeling. You can’t help but sing along with the chorus, and it leaves you feeling euphoric when it is finally over. ‘Only One’ is a slower number, but still has a memorable tune and some fine 60’s guitar work, and the Beefheartian guitar and sterling harmonica work of ‘Superstition Blues’ suits the song perfectly, giving it an exotic voodoo feel. ‘The Common Law’ and ‘Which Way To Run’ are both great power-pop rockers, with thundering guitars over memorable tunes, are they are followed by the agreeable country-rock stylings of ‘The Fool Who Made You Sad’, complete with pedal steel guitar solo and a suitably melancholic vocal. The crunching guitars come out again in force for ‘Sister Rock’, and the raw guitar and vocal sound of ‘Tangled Up’ make it sound like an out-take from John Lennon’s first solo album. The final three tracks, ‘Rainbows’, ‘Keep On Burning’, and ‘The Rinnacle’ are all power-pop gems, complete with reverb-laden guitar hooks and each blessed with a catchy chorus. I must admit that I had never heard of Even until I stumbled upon them on the net, but this album is just so good that I cannot think why I have not seen their name being bandied around already as the Aussie answer to The Feeling. Do yourself a favour and at least try to hear something by the band, and see if you are as captivated as I was.
I Am The Light