Record review: Everything Everything – Arc (2013 LP)

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The story of Everything Everything’s formation sounds like a familiar one: four scruffy Manchester university students decide to form an indie band influenced heavily by the best of the classic British groups that went before them. But that’s probably where the familiarity ends, as this bunch of tune-makers draw influences from a more eclectic range of sources; from The Beatles, Nirvana, and even Destiny’s Child, according to frontman Jonathan Higgs. Arc – the band’s second album after their 2010 debut Man Alive – is a vibrant and colourful affair from the off, mixing elements of pop, rock, and electronica in a casually haphazard fashion. Single ‘Cough Cough’ blends an R&B vocal melody with military-style drumming and and zig-zagging synths with quite stylish results, and the punchy ‘Kemosabe’ makes you want to scream “hey!” to the vocals in its catchy chorus. Unfortunately, it soon becomes clear that for every good track there’s also a not so good one; particularly the cringeworthy ‘Torso Of The Week’ and ballad-lite ‘Armourland’. Parts of this album sound like a band on a creative winning streak, but overall Arc is too polished and contrived to be considered a vital release, and it tails off noticeably in the second half. However, Everything Everything are probably one of the few bands who have enough genres covered to be a success as both a live act and on the DJ’s turntable, and that’s no mean feat. (Sony RCA)

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