Evans The Death
Evans the Death are back with their anxiously-awaited second album Expect Delays. Recorded again with producer Rory Atwell, the album bristles with an underlying tension and veers from rip-roaring noise to quiet contemplation, underpinned by Katherine Whitaker's extraordinary voice.
Still barely out of their teens, there's a tremendous sense across Expect Delays of a band coming into their own, honing a plethora of influences to make a sound that is uniquely them. Each song on the album has a different feel to it: some of them are melodic and pretty; some of them heavy and dissonant; and some of them are, to quote guitarist Dan Moss, "a bit strange". While retaining the post-punk and 90s alt-rock inspired elements that peppered their debut, the music is more expressive, heavier and more experimental, and the lyrics more nuanced, the sense of despair leavened by sharp wordplay and humour.
The unsettling undercurrent of melancholy and hopelessness that pervades the record has its roots in the last three years, spent eking out an existence on the poverty line in Cameron's Britain, leaving them with a succession of minimum-wage jobs and unemployment benefits interviews. As guitarist Dan Moss relates, the album is about "being in London and feeling hopeless and a bit lost. Not having any money, relationships falling apart, things just not connecting or going anywhere and getting absolutely wasted all the time."
Named after the undertaker in Dylan Thomas's 'Under Milk Wood,' the band's 2012 self-titled inaugural album saw critical acclaim from the likes of Q, Uncut and Artrocker, as well as radio play on BBC Radio 1, BBC 6Music and XFM. After a change in line-up following the release of their debut, the band regrouped around the core of brothers Dan and Olly Moss and singer Katherine Whitaker for the recording of "Expect Delays." Drummer James Burkitt was recruited from Leeds' band The ABC Club to complete a taut new four-piece.
More ambitious and focused than their previous record, whilst sacrificing none of their spontaneity and vitality, Expect Delays is a supremely inventive and intelligently crafted album from a band who have suffered for their art, and used that experience to inform and nourish their work. Expect no more delays, Evans the Death have arrived.
"Evans the Death manage to make humdrum everyday existence seem quite magical" Q ****
"A wonderful marriage of converse elements elegantly crafted into its own neat mess." Artrocker *****