Release Date: Jun 22, 2015
Record label: RCA
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival
Survival of the fittest - it’s the metabolism of nature. You have to evolve if you want to survive. Where other 2009 hype competitors have flailed by the wayside, Everything Everything are on their third album, ‘Get to Heaven’. From the snarling rage of ‘To the Blade’ - to the ecstatic bliss of ‘Warm Healer’ – pop explorers Everything Everything have finally discovered their utopia.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Marshall Berman wrote, "To be modern is to find ourselves in an environment that promises us adventure, power, joy, growth, transformation of ourselves and our world - and at the same time, that threatens to destroy everything we have, everything we know, everything we are." Everything Everything can't destroy us, but they operate on that same knife edge, in a state of duplicity. They've manipulated our ideas, deconstructed our premise of popular music, and utilised its components to their own ends.
Man Alive juddered with art-pop intricacy and a statement of intent firmly grasped in Everything Everything’s fists: they were something new. Arc followed a few years later, with scaled back barricades and a newfound penchant for heavy-hearted lyrics and slowly-blossoming ballads. Get To Heaven, the Manchester-based band’s third long-player, looks set to borrow from both predecessors and then turn them both inside-out.
Co-produced by the band and Stuart Price, who previously produced records for Scissor Sisters, the Killers, and Pet Shop Boys, Everything Everything's third full-length album is a dance-friendly if serious-minded set showcasing their British art rock sensibilities via a through-line of vigor. While grooving and uptempo throughout -- with melodic percussion, electric guitar solos, and far-reaching melodies infusing persistent beats -- Get to Heaven is above all mired in its time; its angst-ridden lyrics acknowledge and often examine the (seemingly ineffectual) culture of technology, including 24-hour social and corporate media, amidst life's continued tragedies and injustice. The album's opening line hits the listener with the sparsely accompanied "So you think there's no meaning/In anything that we do?" "To the Blade" later bursts into guitar-heavy, rhythmic synth rock, both catchy and agitated, like much to follow.
What is it with Manchester and warehouses? Clearly they inspire music and escapism in equal measure. The Haçienda is an obvious case in point – though it may be stretching things a bit to call it a warehouse – but it’s tempting to think Everything Everything had it in mind when they too decamped to a warehouse in the city to record Get To Heaven. The comparison is deliberate, because while this, the band’s third album, is a celebration of past, present and future, its most obvious moments feel like recollections of Manchester clubbing, trussed up on the production desk of Stuart Price.
In recent interviews, Manchester-based four-piece Everything Everything have cited the influence of 2014’s cavalcade of horror stories – Isis beheadings, Elliot Rodger’s shooting spree – on their third album. While there are clear echoes in Jonathan Higgs’s never knowingly underblown lyrics (most notably the chillingly delivered line “I’m going to kill a stranger” on No Reptiles), they are balanced by a string of disconcertingly euphoric choruses. Deftly produced by Stuart (Madonna, New Order) Price, the result is an album of astonishing depth, brimming with ideas and equally at home on the dancefloor or as the subject of intense, chin-stroking dissection.
Day-glo. Neon. Technicolor. Kaleidoscopic. It’s difficult to write about Everything Everything’s eclectic music without being tempted to go into reckless adjectival overload to emphasise the chromatic range of their vivid art rock. So let’s use an analogy instead. Theirs is a musical Fauvism ….
It's apt, if dismal, that Get to Heaven arrives the same week as scientists say earth is entering a sixth "mass extinction". We've no one to blame but ourselves, they report; meanwhile the third album by maximalist art-poppers Everything Everything feels like the final part of a trilogy about mankind's desperate self-destruction. In its appealingly hyperactive way, the Manchester-based four-piece's 2010 debut, Man Alive, confronted the human effects of media manipulation around war, body image, and the environment.
Such is Everything Everything’s career-long resolve to defy classification, Everything Nothing might well have been a better name for them. That is, in a nutshell, what their records usually sound like. Yet while you can always pick out bits and pieces that remind you of this or that, the band they have the most in common with is Sigur Rós: not because they sound like them (they don’t, in the slightest) or because Jonathan Higgs’ falsetto occasionally nudges towards the same implausible register as Jónsi Birgisson’s, but because Everything Everything make music in their own language, using their own syntax.
Is there a more improbable bromance in modern rock than that between the compilers of the Radio 1 playlist and Everything Everything? After all, despite their stated aim to make music that doesn’t “sound like a lot of things you’ve heard before” and their talk about the influence contemporary R&B exerts upon them, Everything Everything exist in an eccentric, very British musical tradition. You could trace the lineage of their cluttered, fidgety sound back through the Cardiacs’ lonely attempt to introduce tricky time signatures and shrill vocals into 80s indie; via XTC in their early, bug-eyed, herky-jerky incarnation; to progressive rock: listeners of a certain vintage and inclination may find that Everything Everything’s music occasionally reminds them of Yes circa 1980’s Drama, on which the ailing prog titans enlisted Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes of Buggles to give them a contemporary overhaul. All this, it scarcely needs pointing out, makes them improbable bedfellows for Jason Derulo and Jess Glynne on the airwaves of the Nation’s Favourite.