Evergreen Terrace – Dead Horses (2013)

We haven’t heard from Evergreen Terrace in a long time — four years, to be exact. It’s almost as if the band from Jacksonville, Florida had disappeared into obscurity after their last album Almost Home — perhaps because that wasn’t exactly a highlight in their catalog.

Now Evergreen Terrance, which was named after the street where that legendary cartooon family the Simpsons live, is back with Dead Horses. The good news is: The group makes a partial return to the sound of their first two albums, combining hardcore with a series of catchy melodies.

Dead Horses starts with the heavy and very groovy “Crows,” but it does not take long before the clean vocals of Craig Chaney kick in — and thus the melodic elements come back into the game. Going all the way, back, it hasn’t been unusual for Evergreen Terrace to combine the brutish with the melodic, but on previous albums the songs set you immediately on fire. Here, it takes a while. The first three tracks on Dead Horses, for instance, seem a little bit monotonous at first, but that is only at first glance. The more you listen, the better they get.

The title track affects you from the beginning to the end, and will become almost certainly a fan favorite at their concerts. Meanwhile, “Mike Myers Never Runs, But He Always Catches Up” gives the new drummer Brad Moxy a chance to prove himself with dynamic and frenetic playing. Technically, Dead Horses is a small masterpiece; all the musicians involved play their instruments with the utmost care. The drums pound like crazy, yet remain precise, while the guitar work sounds very heavy but at the same time subtle.

Vocally, Chaney and Andrew Carey are an impressive duo that combine screaming with melodic singing. These two singers just fit perfectly together and lyrically each of them brings his own special flavor. The results on Dead Horses are consistently catchy, yet always solid. Recommended for every melodic hardcore fan — and, in particular, for those Evergreen Terrace fans who had given up on the band.

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Mike Dostert

Luxembourg resident Mike Dostert has written about music for more than two decades, with work appearing in a local newspaper, via his own independent music magazine and at the web sites www.music-brain.com and lux-culture.jimdo.com. He has also worked for 20 years as a DJ and radio host. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.