The Evens
 

Fugazi Frontman Cracks, Divides and Conquers

The Evens
Now available
Dischord

Leave it to Ian MacKaye not only to re-invent himself once again but also to put out one of the years most interesting records. Rather than continuing down the path of guttural yells and heavy guitars that have defined his 20 years playing in Fugazi, the Evens are a stripped-down duo featuring MacKaye on vocals and baritone guitar and former Warmers and Ted Leo accomplice Amy Farina on drums and vocals.

The hushed lyrics, delicate melodies and uplifting harmonies certainly come as a rewarding surprise, but it’s the instrumentation — an elemental mix of MacKaye’s bastard guitar and Farina’s brushed but impressively complicated drumming — that defines these songs. Simple but powerful statements, from the foreboding “it’s all downhill from here” on the opening ‘Shelter Two’ to the agitated chant of “the police will not be excused” on the album highlight ‘Mount Pleasant’ nod to the inescapable body of work that precedes this music, but with Fugazi on an ever extended hiatus and music so powerful coming out of this new vehicle, you’ll find yourself secretly hoping that the Evens carry on and develop a legacy all their own.

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