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Everlasting Yeah - Anima Rising

  by Denzil Watson

published: 25 / 11 / 2015

Everlasting Yeah - Anima Rising
Label: Occultation Recordings
Format: CD


Fantastic debut album from the Everlasting Yeah, which formed out of the ashes of That Petrol Emotion will definitely appeal to fans of that group

Every now and again a band comes along that innovates and ignores the rules of the game. Back in the late 80s and 90s that band was That Petrol Emotion. Their heady mix of agit-pop, politics and dance grooves set them apart from the rest of the indie masses. But as is nearly always the way, they failed to garner the credit or commercial success their originality so richly deserved and so went their separate ways in 2000 after five studio albums. Eight years later the band reformed for a string of dates in the UK and at selected festivals throughout 2008 and 2009. With frontman Steve Mack residing in Seattle and impending parenthood on the horizon, the band, however, slipped into hiatus. The other remaining four members, Reamann O'Gorman (guitars), Ciaran McLaughlin (drums), Brendan Kelly (bass), and Damian O'Neill (guitars), wanting to capitalise on the momentum generated by the reunion, decided they wanted to carry on together. Hence the Everlasting Yeah was born in late 2012. The name change and the decision to not play Petrols' songs showed the band's determination to create something new. That left the small matter of a lead singer. And hence another (big) decision. The band decided to share vocal duties in the absence of their former Stateside band-mate. After a handful of shows the band then recorded their debut LP 'Anima Rising'. It got a limited crowd-funded release in 2014 but Autumn 2015 sees it get a full release on Occultation Recordings. Any worries of this being a pale Steve Mack-lite version of the original are quickly dispelled with the first few bars of the first song. Unsurprisingly the album does sound like a natural progression of their former band's last album, 'Fireproof', while having elements of all five of their previous five long players in the mix. The rhythm and soul elements that were always present in the Petrols' sounds are, however, now more to the fore. The songs also sound slightly looser than the Petrols did, which is may be down to the fact that a number of the songs were free-formed from rehearsal jams. There's also, arguably, a wider range of influences on show here, including, amongst others, a nod to the likes of Television given O'Gorman and O'Neill's interlocking guitars. The surprising thing is the sheer quality of the vocals. That Petrol Emotion were always a harmonious band, but even the band must have been surprised how well the sharing of vocal duties has worked on the album (although Ray O'Gorman does take the lead on all but one song). The album kicks off in rip-roaring fashion with the groove-laden mantra of 'A Little Bit of Uh-huh, A Whole Lot of Oh Yeah'. It immediately hits the spot and buries itself into your brain as the band dispense with the traditional verse/chorus song-structure in favour of the groove and a melody that just sticks in your head. Gorman steps up for his second lead vocal on the funkier but still mellow '(Whatever Happened to the) Hoodlum Angels' showing his not inconsiderable vocal range. There's also some nice Television-esque guitar interplay as referred to earlier. Track three, 'There's a New Beat On Shakin' Street', is a little less frantic on the groove-front and a little more soulful. The best is still to come, though, in the shape of 'Taking That Damn Train Again' which, for some reason, brings to mind the Petrols cover of War's 'Me and My Baby Brother'. Featuring Terry Edwards (of Serious Drinking/The Higsons fame) on sax, it ebbs and flows and features some fantastic Sterling Morrison-inspired guitar work, along with some great woo-woo-woo backing vocals. The album's most psychedelic and drifty moment arrives in the shape of 'Everything’s Beautiful' with its west-coast vibe and hazy summery feel. Sung by drummer Ciaran McLaughlin, it could have sat comfortably on 'Manic Pop Thrill'. 'All Around the World' takes the more traditional rock and roll road and again brings to mind the Velvet Underground while O'Gorman and O'Neill's call-and-response vocals work a treat. The final track 'The Grind' lives up to its name with its abrasive guitars, and is perhaps the hardest to love of the seven tracks on first listening. But give it time and its hidden subtleties start to take hold. Also, surprisingly it's the only track with an out-and-out political reference in it ("All of the scummy politicians lied"). So there you have it. the Everlasting Yeah's first hurrah. The only criticism is that you are left wanting more songs than the seven contained therein - a similar issue that befalls 'White Light/White Heat', where one song takes up most of one side. But that's a minor niggle. The main reason you are left wanting more is quite literally impossible to get too much of this stuff.

Track Listing:-
1 A little Bit of Uh-Huh and a whole Lot of Oh Yeah
2 (Whatever Happpened To The) Hoodlum Angels
3 New Beat on Shakin' Street
4 Taking that damn Train again
5 Everything's beautiful
6 All around the World
7 The Grind

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