EVOL – EVOL (1970; 2012 reissue)

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Wow, now here’s an interesting find!

In 1970, EVOL cut a demo album, which has recently been reissued by the Gear Fab label on both vinyl and compact disc. A photo of the West Virginia-based band graces the cover of the record jacket, and one of the members is a dead ringer for Jim Morrison. But EVOL sounded nothing at all like the Doors.

Forging a style aligned with the Cyrkle or Orphan Egg, the band practiced a breezy breed of neat and tidy pop rock, supplanted by occasional strains of psychedelic undercurrents. The material on EVOL, which was written by guitarist Jeff Hanichen, sparkles steadily with clutter-free arrangements and simple but continually catchy melodies. Yearning vocals, implying a youthful innocence, supervise the tunes, while the instrumentation is organized and balanced.

Stitched of casual, meticulously-groomed songs, EVOL could have easily been recorded a few years earlier than it was. Tracks such as “Good Morning Girl” and “I Told A Lie” gush with Merseybeat inspirations, where “You Shall Be Saved” evokes the folk rock perceptions of PF Sloan. Lonesome and filled with longing, the smooth and shimmering “Part Of Reality” will cause sunshine pop fans sigh with joy, while “Unlucky Guy” and “Speak Your Mind” post as other fine numbers included on the collection.

Judging from the music on EVOL and the manner in which it was played, the band was comfortable just being themselves. They weren’t trying to be hip or heavy. Pure and pleasant pop rock songs, void of excess baggage, was what EVOL specialized in, and in an alternate universe they would have certainly made good on the AM radio dial.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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