Note: The Evens are a duo consisting of Fugazi/Minor Threat frontman Ian MacKaye and Amy Farina, drummer of ‘90s DC hardcore band The Warmers. This is the follow-up to their 2005 self-titled debut.
Sound: With only MacKaye on hard-strumming and nimble acoustic guitar and Farina pounding out intricate and varied percussion there’s never a dull moment with their rhythmic attack and freakishly good chemistry.
Vocals: Ian’s mellower and more tuneful than he was in his old bands, but the contentious, political lyrics keep the vibe agitated. Amy holds her own with seamless harmonies, rousing call-and-response and forceful lead duties.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “Cut from the Cloth” (Top 20 Songs Candidate); “Dinner With the President”; “Everybody Knows”; “Cache Is Empty”; “Get Even”
Medium Rotation tracks: The rest
Explicit Lyrics*: “Eventually”
Recommended: If the idea of Fugazi unplugged (with a female vocalist in Guy Piccioto’s place) is appealing to you. The confrontational songwriting and off-kilter melodies are cleaner and more prominent in this stripped-down and streamlined setting. Get Evens is a quiet-but-raging gem on par with Fugazi’s finest album, The Argument, (my #2 album of 2001).
Grade: A (Strong Album of the Year Candidate)
* Noting of explicit lyrics is for the benefit of radio music directors or anyone else that needs/wants to keep their music FCC-friendly.