Sound: A wildly diverse batch of songs that constantly jumps styles and eras. In the first five tracks, the rock goes from Grateful Dead-like, epic and jammy to Flaming Lips-ish, synth-infused and chill to Prince-esque, electro-stompin’ and funky to sing-along rootsy to reflective and orchestrated. By the middle section, they settle into a more reserved, pensive mood. The production often sounds vintage ‘60s and ‘70s, recalling the sounds of alt country pioneers like Buffalo Springfield, Gram Parsons and The Byrds. In the home stretch, though, they crank up the guitars and churn out the album’s heaviest tracks before mellowing out once again and wrapping up with a Pink Floyd-ian cosmic journey.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “Thank You Too!” (Top 20 Songs of 2008 Candidate); “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt. 1”; “I’m Amazed”; “Evil Urges”; “Highly Suspicious”; “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt. 2”; “Remnants”
Medium Rotation tracks: The rest
Recommended: The unpredictable, eclecticism on Evil Urges can be confounding, and its throwback middle section seems a little out of step with the beginning and end. But song for song, this is a monster. There are no weak links. And though it may be a little disjointed, Evil Urges is the most accomplished and fully realized album released in over two years.
Grade: A (Album of the Year Candidate)