EVANGELICALS-“The Evening Descends”

The Evening Descends in the first track on the unclassifiable recent release from Evangelicals, on the Dead Oceans label. From the title track, which starts off as shoegazer, stumbles awkwardly through a calliope of carnival hiccups, and ends with a spot of twee, the record throws you up against a phonic wall and never lets you go. Channeling all the best genres rock has ever offered—a diverse pastiche including goth, psychedelia, indie, glam, prog, and emo, recalling The Flaming Lips, The Darkness, The Cure, Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse, and countless others–Evangelicals seem ready to take the throne for the most inventive band of 2008.

“Skeleton Man,” which ends in a cymbal-crashing, repeated scream, “Someone loves you very much! Someone loves you very much!”, is my favorite cut on the album. And that’s saying a lot, because there’s many winners here. The aptly titled “Stoned Again” features distant, foggy vocals under a Doors-like keyboard riff and a swirling mass of unidentifiable texture. Every track is full of ambition, and there’s no filler whatsoever.

Overall, “The Evening Descends” is one of my favorite releases of the year so far. I know it’s early in the year, but the intricate guitar work, excellent vocals, and flawless compositions just about guarantee this band a place on my end-of-the-year list.

Skeleton Man

Midnight Vignette

And from an earlier release:

Here Comes Trouble [from the So Gone LP]

Catch ’em on tour!

02/15/08 Columbia, MO – Mojo’s w/ Headlights
02/16/08 Lexington, KY – The Icehouse w/ Headlights
02/17/08 Nashville, TN – The End w/ Headlights
02/18/08 Athens, GA – The Caledonia Lounge w/ Headlights
02/19/08 Mt. Pleasant, SC – Village Tavern w/ Headlights
02/20/08 Norfolk, VA – The Boot w/ Headlights
02/21/08 Arlington, VA – Iota w/ Headlights
02/24/08 New York, NY – Mercury Lounge w/ Headlights
02/25/08 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s w/ Headlights
02/26/08 Hamden, CT – The Space w/ Headlights
02/27/08 Cambridge, MA – Middle East w/ Headlights
02/28/08 Princeton, NJ – Terrace Club w/ Headlights
02/29/08 Brooklyn, NY – Union Hall w/ Headlights
03/01/08 Buffalo, NY – Mohawk Place w/ Headlights
03/02/08 Toronto, ON – El Mocambo w/ Headlights
03/03/08 Cleveland, OH – Beachland w/ Headlights
03/04/08 Bloomington, IN – Waldron Arts Center w/ Headlights
03/06/08 Urbana, IL – Canopy Club w/ Headlights
03/07/08 Chicao, IL – Schuba’s w/ Headlights
03/08/08 St. Louis, MO – Bilken Club w/ Headlights
03/09/08 Springfield, MO – Randy Beacon Gallery w/ Headlights
03/10/08 Norman, OK – Opolis w/ Headlights
03/11/08 Dallas, TX – The Cavern w/ Headlights
03/12/08 Austin, TX – SXSW
03/13/08 Austin, TX – SXSW
03/14/08 Austin, TX – SXSW
03/15/08 Austin, TX – SXSW
03/17/08 Tucson, AZ – Plush w/ Headlights
03/19/08 Los Angeles, CA – Silver Lake Lounge w/ Headlights
03/20/08 Visalia, CA – Howie & Sons w/ Headlights
03/21/08 San Francisco, CA – Hemlock Tavern w/ Headlights
03/23/08 Seattle, WA – Nectar Lounge w/ Headlights
03/24/08 Missoula, MT – Badlander w/ Headlights
03/26/08 Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court w/ Headlights
03/27/08 Denver, CO – Hi Dive w/ Headlights
03/28/08 Omaha, NE – Waiting Room w/ Headlights
03/29/08 Minneapolis, MN – Nomad w/ Headlights
03/30/08 Milwaukee, WI – Cactus Club w/ Headlights
04/01/08 Dekalb, IL – House Cafe w/ Headlights
04/02/08 Madison, WI – Club 770 w/ Headlights
04/03/08 Iowa City, IA – The Mill w/ Headlights
04/04/08 Lake Forest, IL – The Chapel w/ Headlights
04/05/08 Beloit, WI – Beloit College w/ Headlights

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