Monday, January 21, 2008

Album Review:
Evangelicals - The Evening Descends

Evangelicals - The Evening Descends

(Dead Oceans; 2008)


[mp3] "Skeleton Man"

Towards the end of "Bellawood," a swirling, haunting epic of a song about a mental institution named, you guessed it, Bellawood, singer Josh Jones repeats the phrase "Strange things keep happening / all around my head / strange things keep happening." With topics that cover ghost stories, drugs, and a boy who nearly dies following a car crash only to actually die from the shock of having his legs removed in order to save his life - to name only a few - it's quite possible that these lyrics might very well contain the album's not-so-hidden mantra.

But The Evening Descends is more than just a vehicle for Josh Jones' fantastic, slightly twisted imagery, there's also some great fucking music. The album is what you might get if you tossed some early Flaming Lips (naturally, given the Oklahoma connection), Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's most epic climaxes (not to mention Jones' voice, which at times is similar to Alec Ounsworth's caterwauling yelps) and Sunset Rubdown's seamless production into a blender with hallucinogenic mushrooms. It's a dense, layered album that teases the brain and really takes hold with repeated listens on headphones, where the music best lends itself to Jones' storytelling. Though its way too early to make any bold predictions, I feel confident in saying that 2008 should be a good year for Evangelicals, and I'm proud to say that The Evening Descends is, at the very least, the year's first really good record.


Femme Fatale said...

I'm pleased the band put their time/energy/funds into their music, as it clearly didn't go into that album art. Seriously, it's freaking me out.

But I am digging this album. I'm with you that I need time to digest, like it's an eagerly devoured steak and black bean burrito.

Girlfriend said...

I'm rather fond of the album art. Its resembles classic horror film propaganda. I can see where the inspiration came from considering some of the lyrics.