Everything Everything - Re-Animator
Sep 11, 2020
85
Everything Everything return from two quite massive albums. Get To Heaven being their biggest release to date, receiving universal acclaim and so many people referring to it as their favourite albums. Then we had A Fever Dream, which while for me had a dud or two in the tracklist it still stood out as an oddity in their discography. It felt dark and unsettled with darker themes. Re-Animator in a way feels like another Get to Heaven… that’s a good and bad thing.

Re-Animator feels like the band getting back together and, in a way,, starting a new. It is a new decade after all. Would I call this a rehash of old ideas? Not really, this album has new ideas and new sounds, but what I will call it is a rehash of structures, mainly the structure of Get to Heaven. Down to how the tracks are laid out this feels very similar to how Get to Heaven was structured. It starts off relatively normal before slowly deforming into something more ominous. Re-Animator does this as well, while a little later on into the record, it’s still a noticeable tonal shift, and something I picked up on quite early on. I would consider the shift to occur at Black Hyena, where things become more ominous, more unsettled. I would love to give this album a raving review, as I really like it, but this is something I can’t really overlook, sometimes it does feel like the band is chasing after that Get to Heaven fame, while they did attempt a new style on A Fever Dream, they resorted back to what worked on Re-Animator.

I really, really do like this album, I don’t think this record has any dud tracks besides maybe Planets. It all flows excellently and is written excellently, it has that EE flair to it that is mistakeably them; if it’s Jon’s vocals, or the incredibly off the wall writing, EE stand out from other pop groups with these quirks. They just sound different. They also fall into this sort of limbo around their popularity status. They’re not popular enough to fall into the “Tame Impala, Mac Demarco” group but also not obscure enough to be actually considered “obscure”. They sort of fall into the middle, which could be a good thing, or a bad thing.

To most people the band only have one major album, and the rest are mid or not important, that album obviously being Get to Heaven. This isn’t a Tame Impala situation where they have multiple fantastic albums under their belt, they only really have the one, but there is so much untapped potential in the band, for sure. EE feel like that band that everyone has heard of but have never listened to, constantly remaining in that purgatory of “Oh I know them! I’ve never listened though”. Each release they’ve had, both prior to Get to Heaven and afterwards have been close to reaching Get to Heaven’s status, in songwriting or style, but there’s always something small that’s off, something that they just didn’t get right… until of course the stars aligned, and they got everything right. What I see this as is the band trying to reach that point again. They didn’t hit it with A Fever Dream, nor did they here, but it did take two albums last time… so who’s to say it won’t this time too?

Now I’m not trying to insinuate that EE’s next release is going to be another Get to Heaven, an album on equal par to that record, what I do want to say though is that they’re on to something with this record, as they were with their previous, A Fever Dream and Re-Animator have one major thing in common and that’s they bring new sounds and interesting sounds to the table, while A Fever Dream sounded dark, wet and unsettling, Re-Animator sounds robotic, artificial and despondent. I hate to make the comparison but it’s true, and I’m not the only one who has made it but Re-Animator sounds incredibly Radiohead-esque. The songs on here, especially on It Was a Monstering, Moonlight, In Birdsong and The Actor, so many of these tracks reek of Radiohead influence, and I don’t see that as a bad thing. It’s a new sound for the band, they haven’t gone down this route before, while there are still tracks on here that wouldn’t go amiss on other records they’ve made, one thing is for certain that Re-Animator does have a unique style and sound to it, and it’s not dissimilar to that of Kid A or In Rainbows.

I mentioned earlier about the similarities to Get to Heaven, I want to go a little more into detail about that. Once we get to the song Black Hyena, it is where the album noticeably shifts. While Lord of the Trapdoor definitely has an odd vibe to it, it still sounds relatively normal… well normal for this album at least. It sounds like an underground club blasting away, as you walk across the streets you can hear it underground, the lights coming from the drains, but there is never any entrance. Lord of the Trapdoor is the beginning of the shift, but it isn’t fully realised yet. Black Hyena then takes this and really runs with it. From the opening chords of… actually I’m unsure what instrument that even is? It sets that eerie mood that Lord of the Trapdoor hinted at. Black Hyena also includes the only mention of the album title in any of the songs “At last, hello, Re-Animator”. I would refer to this as the big shift, that’s our cue. From here the album begins to contort, and by the next song that is fully realised. Our next song is In Birdsong, which is a track I’ve talked about before but not in great lengths, but this is where the album has really contorted and shifted, it’s nothing like it used to be. I will admit this is probably the weirdest and most experimental the band have gone, with the noisy, incredibly unsettling passages of Jon chanting “There’s something in the white matter” “Birdsong sung in reverse”. It’s a major, major highlight of the album, Jon’s voice fitting perfectly for this eerie late placed track. It’s incredibly noisy at points too, overwhelming with its synths and vocals, it works incredibly well and shows the final contortion of the album. Things then return relatively to normal in The Actor, while still keeping that twisted edge, in a similar fashion to No Reptiles, the only real issue with this song is because of where it’s placed it feels incredibly forgettable, while I like the song it just does not feel memorable to me in the slightest because it comes right in the middle of In Birdsong and Violent Sun… Violent Sun though is an odd choice for a closer. It’s a good song, and a good pick, it just confuses me a little, as it is such an odd choice. It’s an incredibly fast song, and an incredibly dark song, but the second part is nothing new. To me Violent Sun is about the end of the world. In a world we’re slowly killing with pollution, or as Jon likes to call it “Fatberg” Violent Sun is the ending to all of that, it’s the sun crashing into the earth and killing us all :). It’s a song that takes a couple of listens to truly appreciate to that aspect, as at first it does sound quite basic, but looking deeper it does really work. From all the themes the album builds up throughout its runtime, those being pollution, greed… greed. This is an album about humanity and our greed, how we’re selfish and only care to do things if it benefits us personally. Violent Sun is our consequence. That final stretch of songs, where everything breaks down represents the beginning of the end, society falling apart before finally after the height of chaos (In Birdsong) it all ends in a blink (Violent Sun) (The Actor doesn’t exist for now it literally does not do anything for where it’s placed).
“Then she takes you in her violent arms
And you stare into the violent sun
And the words are wrong but in the right order
And she takes you in her violent arms
And you stare into the violent sun
And you know this will be gone in the morning”
The album closes with the world ending as fast as it began, watching it all happen with the person you love, because in the end, that’s what will last. Love will last until the end of time, it’s the one thing capitalism can’t take from you.

Favourite Tracks: Lost Powers, Big Climb, It Was a Monstering, Moonlight, Arch Enemy, Lord of the Trapdoor, In Birdsong, Violent Sun
Least Favourite Tracks: Planets, The Actor
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