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To Everybody

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Album Review

The 90 Day Men, up through the release of their last proper full-length, the peculiarly titled (is (it) is) critical band, left critics and peers quite confused in the manner of attempting to define their sonic qualities with adjectives and references. To Everybody is the next installment in the 90 Day Men lineage, and if anyone had a certain expectation of what they might hear on this record, smear it out. You aren't going to get it. What you are going to get is a record, one that re-evaluates the entire embodiment of potential in sound, emphasizing a new, symphonic, and timeless framework. Initially, things seem somewhat like what they once were, as "I've Got Designs on You" begins with a gently meandering rhythm accented immediately with Rob Lowe's caterwauling, soon to be harmonized over with Case's newly subdued and more sung than spoken vocals. The second track follows suit, with percussive blips and piano chords leading into a driving, slightly dark amalgam of perfected sound on "Last Night, a DJ Saved My Life." "Saint Theresa in Ecstasy" is perhaps the most beautifully rendered track on the album, made up of an absolutely perfect rhythm, vocals of heavy breath, and sublimely layered darkness. It is understood now that this record is much more delicate and lush than things previous, but it only escalates further in. The second half of the record is where things become the most unusual for the 90 Day Men. The instrumental "We Blame Chicago" opens with orchestral piano chords to develop into perhaps the most upbeat creation the band has put together, complete with wah-wah, a driving piano-centered melody, and crisp, jazzy drumming. "Alligator" quietly erupts into a New Orleans-style dirge, meandering along a theme that often sounds similar to some elements of Radiohead, also including vocal breakdown that could easily have been on a Pink Floyd record. Yeah, things are different now. But the change, although initially unsettling, is quite compelling, provoking textures and complex melody into unusual formats, challenging the listener to move to a different level. Also important to note is the seamless production work of up-and-coming visionary/mastermind John Congleton, whose unusual and starkly clear handiwork helps to define To Everybody. In simplest terms, To Everybody is a meticulously formed masterpiece of timeless, moving resonance, a yawning, organic assemblage that haunts the attic.


Formed: Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The 90 Day Men evolved into one of the more distinctive math rock bands of the new millennium, opening up the angular, dissonant complexity that was the genre's stock-in-trade to include elements of psychedelia, '70s prog rock, and new wave. Early on, their sound was more typical -- post-hardcore art-punk indebted to Slint and their various Louisville brethren (Rodan, June of 44, etc.) as well as D.C.'s Dischord stable. As keyboards became an increasingly important part of their core sound, however,...
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