As you probably know the blog’s title is inspired by the debut album by That Petrol Emotion. So the first album to be released in this blog’s lifetime by former members of that band was always going to be Quite A Big Deal. ‘Anima Rising’, the debut album from The Everlasting Yeah, is that record.
A quick recap first. The Everlasting Yeah are former Petrols Reamann O’Gormain (guitars/vocals), Ciaran McLaughlin (drums/vocals), Brendan Kelly (bass/vocals) and Damian O’Neill (guitar/vocals). They’ve been active over the last couple of years playing select gigs in and around London but ‘Anima Rising’ is their first official release.
Other than live videos on YouTube all that had emerged from the album was excerpts from each song. Until yesterday that it is when those who had pledged to support the album got access to a download of the record.
If the videos and excerpts gave an indication of what the record’s like, including a lot of the key hooks, it’s clear from listening to the final record, that they’ve only shown part of the picture.
‘Anima Rising’ sounds like nothing less than the product of a group of musicians having an absolute blast. What’s so impressive is that the band have managed to capture and bottle all those good vibes onto the record.
Without doubt any TPE fan is going to find plenty to celebrate in these songs but the Petrols never made a complete album which grooves in the way that ‘Anima Rising’ does.
There’s unquestionably some different elements thrown in the mix such as the jazzy sax breakdown on ‘Taking That Damn Train Again’. But perhaps the biggest departure is that, where TPE were often as tight as a coiled spring, the vibe on ‘Anima Rising’ is far more rolling and loose, reflecting the fact that many of these songs were developed as jams in the studio.
As a consequence some stretch out in a way TPE rarely, if ever, did. And if you’re worried that these lengthy workouts might diminish the songs in some way then fear not. On the contrary it’s quite thrilling when TEY have the confidence to kick right back into the groove from one of the false endings.
‘(Whatever Happened to the) Hoodlum Angels’ and ‘Taking That Damn Train Again’ illustrate the new approach best with the former tapping into a little of the indie dance vibe of ‘Groovecheck’ and the latter a relentless juggernaut of a tune.
It’s not all extended jams though. Opener ‘A Little Bit Of Uh-huh & A Whole Lotta Oh Yeah’ is a joyous distillation of what makes ‘Anima Rising’ so great. Built around a chant of the song’s title and some Stonesy guitars, it’s as exhilarating as anything from the Petrols back catalogue.
Melody is a key ingredient for all these tunes but there’s a couple which show us that TEY can also be a great pop band. ‘New Beat On Shakin’ Street’ and ‘All Around The World’ fall into this category and would be obvious singles (even if the former is nearly 6 minutes long!) whilst ‘Everything’s Beautiful’ is a gentle ballad which is the equal of anything that their previous band did in a similar vein.
Reamann stated, in his most recent interview with MPT, that being politically outspoken hurt TPE’s career and that TEY were not going to make the same mistakes. But it was difficult to imagine that the reality of Coalition Britain would pass unremarked upon.
That finally happens on the last track on the album, the remarkable, incendiary 12 and a half minutes long ‘The Grind’, in which TEY lay their cards on the table in a way that so few careerist bands do these days.
Meshing Krautrock with Sonic Youth the music and its coruscating lyric (‘Because all around us is a nightmare nation/ a demonocracy is what we’re facing’) demonstrate that TEY have reignited the fire from the best of their previous band.
I’ve never written a review before less than 24 hours after hearing a record for the first time which perhaps gives an indication of just how enthusiastic I am about ‘Anima Rising’.
But if the band were aiming to make a record that “feeds your heart and head and moves your hips and feet” then they have unquestionably delivered.
Without doubt one of the albums of the year.
The Everlasting Yeah photo by Kate Greaves
Previously on MPT:
The Everlasting Yeah interview (September 2013)
The Everlasting Yeah interview (October 2014)