Selected press quotes

An electronic big band of carnival proportions BBC
Chunky hip-hop beats, playful analogue synths, scary earbleed techno… Single of the week Time Out
I think actually it's quite good Steve Lamacq, Radio 1
Grande band. Grande disco. Kathodik (Italy) Live (Thurs 03/11/2005)

And so on to The Evenings, the local element of tonight’s Brainlove tour. The crucial thing about watching The Evenings is that it’s so much FUN. Each gig they play has its own personality and style, even if the set is the same; on one day the music will be harsh, challenging stuff (as it was, for example, at Punt this year) and then on another it will be sweet and melodic (as it was at Punt a couple of years ago, or at their Boat Party this summer), but whatever mood the music fits into on the day, it’s always FUN. By the end some of us were sporting rather snazzy newspaper-poncho type things thoughtfully provided by the band – you can never fail to have fun in a poncho.

At their best, and I think they were about at the best I’ve seen them on this occasion, The Evenings manage to merge the two, creating a really strong dynamic not only throughout the set as a whole, but each song as well. Perhaps the best example is the track 'Fizzy Piss' (the opener on their latest EP). You can’t ask for a much more confrontational opening to a song and, throughout, the listener is barraged with a variety of willfully disorientating electronic noises, but the rhythms and the song development are so immediately accessible and intoxicating that you end up being forced to concentrate and to dance at the same time. The set builds a sense of barely, but brilliantly, controlled anarchy all based around the drum kit, centre-stage. If they play a gig like this on every leg of the tour they’ll blow the other three bands off stage; but unfortunately for The Evenings, it is this consistency which has been their biggest downfall over the last couple of years. Who’s to say this isn’t the start of it though?

By Daniel Mitchell.

Losingtoday: "Louder In The Dark" EP

The top tunes just keep coming. The first of three releases featured in these pages from the Brainlove collective and all in the own right worthy of adulation. First up on the blocks is the audaciously delicious ‘Louder in the Dark’ by Oxford’s quintet the Evenings incidentally their debut release for Brainlove which if these fine trio of turntable wobbling CDs are anything to judge will soon be elevated to the top of the favourite label list of all the cool kids shortly. Opening with the head mushing antics of the freewheeling psychotronic meets punked up diodes overloading ’Fizzy Piss’ - if you like a frantic head on car crash of menacing undertones spontaneous combusting in a veritable haze of android like non nonsense down and boogying krautrock grandeur.

In sharp contrast ’I don’t remember’ is a cutesy knee trembling summer loving ode of sorts that’ll have many a patron idly nuzzling up close to their hi-fi and falling longingly in love. Though for my money check out the crafted nuggets tucked fetchingly in the shadows. ’Paste’ and ’Chicken and King’ are breathlessly wonderful slices of cool as you like down tempo pop carved of the highest order and the kind of thing that Tummy Touch would die for. The former sounding like the theme tune to a cosmic fairground, a mind bending array of whirling starry eyed down tempo electro vibes think ’the Hustle’ updated and brought to life by Discordia - and gorgeous to the point of insanity while the latter is a crafty sojourn into the lazy eyed kaleidoscopic world of Adam Franklin’s alter ego Toshack Highway with elements of the softer brushes of Porcupine Tree’s ’Stupid Dream’ filtering in orbital. In our humbled opinion - as essential as it gets. "Louder In The Dark" EP

How on earth did i miss this one! Languishing in the promo mountain for far too long, a nudge from the label boss made me dig this out and try this, after days of believing that there was nothing in the pile that would bring joy and elation to my inner being. To summarise: 4 tracks of genre busting ideas that sound far too good and special to be missed.

Hip hop beats, fuzzed up guitars, electronica techno, ear blistering noise and just when you think you cant handle the truth, a fucking wonderfully dark-n-nasty bass noise distresses your soundsystem to great effect. And that's just the first 30 seconds of the opening track, 'Fizzy Piss', nice title. Then to follow this hardcore 4 minutes, the band then drop one of the most melodic songs I have heard in ages, 'I Didn't Remember'. Built around a repeated vocal loop sung by all of the band in intermingling fashion (like you did on recorder for 'londons burning' all those years ago at school - when learning the theory of a round ??) - highly addictive and very very good.

Third track, 'Paste', has a rock solid beat keeping the action tight, while all manner of aural madness is let loose in the surroundings, cheeky analogue noises pervade the airspace like someone remembering bentley rhythm ace in far more detail that they should, before the beat begins to glam up proceedings and a chunky guitar type noise makes the rock heads happy. fantastic stuff, simple as that, that's not to be taken too seriously.

Thankfully, the energy levels are slowed down to a pleasant level for the EP closer, 'Chicken & King'. A little bit of trip hopped out beats and echoed acoustic guitars never hurt anyone, especially when they are joined by more off the wall synthetic extras, and an extended freak guitar solo timewarped in from from a 1973 prog studio takeout.

All of which makes the 17.5 minutes contained within this debut EP seem like the best way to start off a hopefully eventful recording career.

Drowned In Sound: "Louder In The Dark" EP

Tricky sorts to pin down, these Evenings, at least when all four tracks on this EP seem to offer something quite different. The charmingly named 'Fizzy Piss' sounds like a rollicking electro take on a horror movie soundtrack bringing to mind Transylvanian castles and frightening dark streets (Curtain Road, for instance). 'I Didn't Remember' is the pop song, replete with a plaintive vocal loop building into an almost Futureheads-esque acapella which should have any rightminded types paying attention. It's hook laden, spellbinding and the one you'll be humming hours later.

There's another change of direction for the second half which at least finds some constancy in style; 'Paste' is a dreamy instrumental reminiscent of early Air while the lethargically paced 'Chicken & King' is distinguished by an oriental-tinged guitar riff, making it the archetypal atmospheric closer. The overall feel is that rather than being all over the place this small collection of songs offers something of everything; you'll go back for 'I Didn't Remember' and find yourself being slowly wooed by its less immediately-friendly brethren. It bodes well for the band next year and also for Brainlove Records, who with their recent clutch of EPs seem to be turning into the talent spotters to watch.

Rating: 8/10
Words: John Winters

Room Thirteen: "Louder In The Dark" EP

After eighteen-months of flamboyant stage shows and constantly changing line-ups, 2004 finally saw Oxford four-piece The Evenings settle down into their current form. Now it's 2005 and the band are back with the new E.P, 'Louder in the Dark', which marks their first release with Brainlove Records.

There's a quivering, spectral quality to the explosive intro of opener, 'Fizzy Piss'. Sirens scream like banshees over hyperactive, hissing beats before breaking down into electronic bleeps and digital scratching, creating a sound that evokes all the frantic intensity of rush hour traffic as the track builds to its tense climax before crashing to a breathless halt. 'I Didn't Remember' comes as a surprise after the dizzying 'Fizzy Piss'; it keeps the hissing dance beats and tingling synthesised keyboards, but couples them with an utterly unexpected yet beautifully singable melody. With a more traditional song structure, and surprisingly emotive vocals, the track ends in grand style with the swirling backing vocals creating a huge, full sound.

'Paste' begins as a mixture of twinkly, organic sounds and digital beats, to evoke a more laid back vibe. But as the pace increases the heavy marching beats have all the ferocity of an approaching army, and with a sudden shift leaves you breathless and gasping before lapsing back into its chilled-out wailing. Finally, 'Chicken & King' brings the E.P to a close with another slightly eerie but equally intense track that switches between almost ethnic sounding atmospherics and hard-hitting military drumming.

If, like me, the words 'hip-hop', 'electronic' and 'techno' are enough to make you instantly begin tuning out, then you might assume that a band who profess a love of 'dreamy electronica' and 'glitching laptop beats' aren't for you – but give The Evenings a chance and their catchy, climactic rhythms just might get the better of you.

Rated 8 out of 13

Russell's Reviews: "Listening" EP

Everyone in the Oxford area knows how amazing the Evenings live experience can be, but can they reproduce it on CD? Well understandably they don't try, opting for a more laid back affair and proving equally adept at that too.

'I Didn't Remember' opens the EP, all hushed vocals submerged low in amongst an electronic sprinkling of fairy dust. Every now and again the tune rattles and stirs as if it's about to awake from its slumbers, before settling back down, smirking at the fun it had teasing the listener. The song ends in a frightening way, psychotic bi-polar voices begging for your attention.

'Paste' is the kind of song that soundtracks daydreams at the point they turn into nightmares. That it accomplishes this despite what sounds like some odd percussion (is that someone twanging an elastic band? is that someone shaking a walnut in a beaker?) is a feat in itself.

'Breathing Down Your Neck' has an eighties industrial sound to it. It's probably the least interesting thing here, due to the high standards set. It gets caught up in its own mystique and doesn't go anywhere.

Although 'Swimming On Your Back' threatens to mutate into a horrid chart hit at any point it is still a wonderful thing. Put this on in the garden on a balmy summer evening, look to the skies and you'll see a multitude of UFOs. This is what the Evenings achieve with this EP; they provide a soundtrack that will be the catalyst for the fertile imagination. Let them fuel your thoughts.

Silver Juice fanzine: Live (Sat 29/09/2003)

Vacuous Pop Recordings day, Notting Hill Arts Club "Rota" afternoon, London

Hooray! Another great band who I'd previously never heard of playing for no pence at the notting hill arts club where the beautiful people gather and swap fashion tips on how to comb your something. What was most refreshing about this band is that they that they're not overly concerned with image... which is not to say they look bad. They look like a group of individuals expressing themselves in every way (bleurgh). The master technician, in his Oliver Twist cap took the role of conductor, waving his arms about in frenetic manner and helping the drummer drum... and then actually replacing the drummer.. whilst the drummer... er... took the role of conductor. What was most impressive about the performance was the blending of the electronic with the organic. The rock drums with the pre-programmed, the vocals with the samples... the emphasis was on dynamics, energy, enthusiasm and a shambolic mishmash & overflow of ideas that was very endearing. A breath of fresh air if ever there was one. Sebastian on keyboards was the perfect androgynous look-at-me sexmonkey and hammed the part up to the point of perfection. Go see these tricksters before they start playing somewhere a bit bigger.

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