May 10, 2010
It’s with some intrepidation that I head through Koko’s doors, for I’ve not only fallen harder still for Everything Everything, but I’m tinged with doubt and fear following their disappointing turn back in November at the ICA. Thankfully, I’ve not added a hyperlink to my own review of that very show because on this showing tonight, the words just make the both of us look weak. We need not make reference to the near-immediate past.
The four-piece’s awkward beats and crazily intricate arrangements are perfectly pitched behind lead singer Jonathan Everything’s dizzying falsetto tonight, Koko surprisingly rising to the clarity test. That they make the whole mix sound this simultaneously dippy as crystal-clear is insane, as the unpredictability of ‘Suffragette Suffragette’ bears not only surprise after surprise, but a race through a mind at breakneck speed.
A few more words of sheer exhilaration on ‘Suffragette Suffragette’: it starts just like a quiet pop number, before each bit comes out of nowhere until the first-time-around chorus, which appears devoid of harmonies at first, until the rocking guitars just drop right in there. And then – AND THEN – it all drops out again. The crazy structures unfold in a way that makes it all sound sub-consciously phenomenal, the fizziest pop. This band are having fun, and the viruses that form the songs’ spines make everything feel just like a classic. No wait: they are classics. Beautiful packages of stuff, bustling with bits – infinitely – that leap and jump at me, adoringly.
And there are these colossal melodies rising up so very high in the mix, in the most part due to the lead singer’s excelling vocal. The power in his range disguises the phenomenal leaps in rhythm and structure in not just one but each of Everything Everything’s songs, the language of pop overriding anything vaguely taut or serious about the sheer dexterity of the lyrics. Oft four-to-the-floor basslines thump, pitched against the rapid-fire rhythms and delirious, unexpected twists and turns.
Watching songs perplex and intrigue makes for the stuff to be obsessed with; a band to watch with a mouth open. Their very pop sensibility comes from the space given for parts to soar, and further down below ground-level, because the so-very-quickly uttered lead vocals seem to shroud standard-fare RnB triplets. It’s evident on the amazing ‘My Kz, Yr Bf’, and propelled to the heights by the sight of the four-piece striking such defined pop-star poses to the refrain, “and he was looking at me like WOAH!” This fawning is unavoidable.
There are some new songs here tonight, at least to me, which I later find out are called ‘Qwerty Finger’ and ‘Engine Room’. But in spite of their unfamiliarity, they still sound like songs I’ll be squealing along to, bridge-to-bridge full of airtight quirks, infinite lyrical entendres and this amazing, endless sense of scamp-like raunch.
All photos by Jonathan Fisher: