Album Review: Everybody Row – “The Sea Inside”

Everybody Row aren’t an entirely easy band to categorize or describe. They’ve got a sound that’s clearly inspired by early screamo acts, but it’s not nearly as abrasive or discordant or anguished, closer resembling the type of subtly dynamic post-hardcore Thursday was doing early on and On the Might of Princes tried later in their tenure. They’re way less hostile than the former and really only relate to the latter’s more relaxed moments. Their guitars will occasionally have a semi-spazzy jangle, but there’s a big lack of restraint the band clearly make their own. Their vocals are hoarsely sung with a raw coating, but things never spiral into a truly desperate, depressing hole. Consequently, as aforementioned there’s sort of a Waiting-era Thursday vibe here, though hardly as emotionally bare and blessed with a much better recording.

They’re distinctly loud and The Sea Inside utilizes this rage to good extent. They are a little more intense in certain places, and when they are they fit the genre parameters a little neater, but this refinement and focus has done the band well. “Coming Clean” is a tense opener with an interesting jangle in the guitars at the beginning and then a more frenetic, faster tempo. There’s a neat little moment where the song rears back too while they make room for the neat in-between instrumentals.

It’s relaxed, yet a bit ominous at the same time when you stomach how they mesh quickly jangled riffs and barked vocal lines amid some quick drum fills.They’re not instrumental-dependent in crafting harrow, fast-paced tracks but they balance it all well to encapsulate handfuls of narrowly audible lines either breathily sung or hoarsely shouted. It’s post-rock as it really is just a more instrumental-based variant of the style of the songs that precede it on material old, like a less abrasive Kidcrash. However, traces of the former definitely come to the surface a bit towards the end, maybe hinting at something much greater to come from the band. Some tracks overall be stronger but it’s pretty methodical and moderately complex. Case in point, “Escape Plan” and “Keep Running” which bring out an ATDI meets Comadre personality.

The album’s anger is tempered with infections rhythms and strong melodies. It’s cold at times with distorted and distant feels but it’s a misanthropic vibe that no doubt touches on bands olden, a la The Wave, or newer, a la Frameworks. The Sea Inside isn’t as odd or as classic as you’d want it to be but it still has a lot of exploration and emotional delivery that surpasses most screamo bands these days. They don’t shy away from spots of measured cadence but at the end, it’s the incendiary feel which makes Everybody Row shine. Yes, they’re rooted and thrive on Comadre, but given their versatile line-up, it’s no shocker. The plodding of No Babies and the static yet shocking feedback plastered over so many Know Secrets tracks adds much more value than anticipated.

Cliched? Frustrated? Vital? Yes, to all. This band doesn’t dabble in limits and as audacious as they get, their emo-arpeggios fill the screechy void that we need. Volcanic, mesmerizing and raw best describe their themes and messages to me. They may be obsessed with trebly, bass-ridden foundations but with such genius guitarists and a don’t-care attitude, this brand of snarling, pulsating and pulverizing music is too good to ignore. The Sea Inside is a career-defining record and it transcends the boundaries, if any, the band had.

4.5/5 Stars

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