by Katie N., Bishops College, St. John's, NF
Everclear are no one hit wonder, even though their song may indicate just that.This band,a reinvention of the earlier band Colorfinger, has been a steady mover,and perhaps even a shaker, in the punk-pop music scene over the past 5 years.
photo from Everclear website
With the release of World of Noise in 1994 Art Alexakis, the lead singer, was dubbed as a Kurt Cobain wannabe. In fact they even claimed that he made a direct reference to Kurt in his song Sparkle. The fact that both were bleached blond lead singers is where the similarities stop. Anyone who knows anything about the band will tell you they are in no way a form of Nirvana.
Everclear have a distinct sound, and they incorporate this sound into all their songs. Their covers of Boys are Back in Town and Night Moves are just a few examples. On Sparkle and Fade and So Much for the Afterglow this sound is recreated throughout all the tracks. They shine while telling stories of herion overdoeses and racial descrimination. A true suburban sound rings out and grips you. These albums are the kind of ones that teenagers can listen to and realize that, sometimes, everyone elseís life sucks too. Yet, unlike most punk musicians, Art Alexakis isnít 25, heís 38. He has a daughter, and has lived through drug addiction, divorce and poverty. Thatís a whole lot of living.
Art grew up in a broken home in Santa Monica, California. His songs Why I donít Believe in God and Wonderful deal directly with this. Everclear shows paternal angst in the purest form, in the form of stories. This band and its members are truly storytellers.
Everclear are releasing 2 albums this year. The first hit stores in July and the next is coming out in November. These albums are supposedly the 2 sides of a coin: the anger and the meekness. Songs From an American Movie Volume I: Learning How To Smile came out in July. It was soft in all the right places and lent an ear to noise during songs like Now That itís Over. It was as about as romantic an album as they will ever make. Even the drummer sang a soft and sweet song entitled Honeymoon Song. They guitar work on the first album was much different that any of their other songs. It wasnít as loud and dominant. They introduced new instruments; stings and ukaleaes.
This band may not be a true punk band, but their not 19. They donít rock out in their parents basements. They donít make bubblegum pop, because men who once made grunge music wouldnít wax their eyebrows. Everclear canít be what they were 5 years ago, life changes.
Storytellers tell life as it is now. Art does that. His songs are no longer about drug overdoeses, rather divorces. He has done a full 360. Life goes on and so does music. As a pure expression of the soul, it should change styles just as life does.