Detonate: Everything Everything

Sick of sweaty guitar gods, monotonous bedroom DJs and simpleminded pop troubadours? Think you’re the valedictorian of all things kitsch? Or that revivals are only meant for the hospital-ridden? Heard of Everything Everything? Well, you should, even if multi rhythm-syncopated beats (like Vampire Weekend’s) give you headaches.

This Manchester-based quartet (whose band members have adopted the surname Everything) might be compared to other artsy pop bands of today like Foals, Friendly Fires or even post-punk genre-benders XTC. But the truth is, aside from having some pretty out-there lyrics about high school massacres and paranoid rnb seducers during an air raid, the band draws more from the present pop world than from any underground scene of the past.

They blatantly use clean production values ala mainstream rnb to give their otherwise rockish music a tweak. Bassist Jeremy Everything says that the band has never been comfortable with the “indie tag” and that “If it’s Girls Aloud or Slint, it doesn’t matter-if we like it we’ll listen to it and work out what makes it good.” He elaborates, “There are hundreds of years of amazing music to draw on. Why place restrictions on yourself?”

Since frontman Jonathan Everything started the band in university in 2007, EE has set about avoiding clichés at all cost. Having found his bandmates on the basis of shared orchestral backgrounds and wide musical palates ranging from post-rock to funk and jazz, it’s no wonder all rules went out the window, leaving the foursome to experiment with, urm, rnb.

Despite having their music described as “surrealist neo-classical avant pop for the digital age”, they list Destiny’s Child above American minimalist composer Steve Reich as their influence on their MySpace. “It’s all to do with how you present yourselves,” explains Jeremy. “An rnb cliché can sound great when it’s played by 4 skinny white men.”

Although Jonathan sings (and is backed up by the rest of the band in lush, 3-part harmonies) with a falsetto and spits out lyrics that will send you to the nearest dictionary, EE’s 1st single in 2008, ‘Suffragette Suffragette’, made them famous in a chav way by asking “Who’s gonna sit on your face when I’m not there?”

So now that it’s clear that EE know how to have fun and not let their music get too brainy (cause rock music isn’t supposed to be solely for Phd holders), the band have released their highly anticipated debut album Man Alive. Again, it’s a strange name, but it goes with the song titles.

The 1st single off Man Alive, the hip hop titled ‘MY KZ UR BF’ (which stands for ‘My Keys, Your Boyfriend’) is about a very petty love triangle that quickly becomes irrelevant once the house begins to be bombed. It’s ambitious, especially when the song begins with the line: “Lucifer your landing/Crosses on the kitchen sink”.

On other single ‘Schoolin’, things brighten up a bit with another weird opener of a line: “Brother you look like the Taj Mahal”. ‘Photoshop Handsome’, on the other hand, sounds like a Dogs Die In Hot Cars outtake that was remixed by The Crookers, boasting yet another lyrical quirk “Chest pumped elegantly elephantine/Southern Hemisphere by Calvin Klein”.

So even if you think that you’ve heard everything out there that modern “indie” has to offer, you’d better cover all bases with this band. Yes, yes?

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