Eccentric Everything Everything set unprecedented originality with the first ‘virtual reality album release party’ showcasing their fifth release, RE-ANIMATOR – an album not so original in flavour …
In a world where gigs are now providing nowhere near the atmosphere with what they used to do, musicians are trying to find new ways to share excitement between themselves and their fans. Could virtual reality be it?
Everything Everything‘s RE-ANIMATOR
Big indie experimenters, Everything Everything have been sharing their delights for over ten years now.
With the likes of, “Distant Past” and “Regret” amassing huge popularity for band from favoured release, “Get to Heaven” in 2015, the band have always upheld the standards of what to expect.
With lead vocalist, Jonathan Higgs reaching notes that no man can ever believe to achieve without the help of technology, he leads an impressive ensemble swamped with washy, funkadelic-type creations that are easy to lose yourself in.
To me, Everything Everything will always be one of those bands that you can stick their catalogue on, and you can happily listen to it over and over again.
The Track Listing
The album hits off with “Lost Powers,” a song in love with its catchy synth-like rhythms throughout, it sets the tone wonderfully for the remainder of the album, which is certainly a more laid-back approach to their traditional thumping they deliver from singles such as, “Kemosabe” (2013) and “Can’t Do” (2017) from past albums.
It seems like the same commentary runs through the first few songs too, – “Big Climb” and “It Was A Monstering” – with powerful single, “Planets” finally allowing the album to gain momentum with Higgs preaching how deep love can really go, (“Can you love me, can you love me, more than the planets”) but of course, the ambient synth is ever-present behind each idea, which does seem to take away the ability to distinct one song from another.
“Moonlight” gives us a break on the usual and takes us down a route of odd-time serenity before we are sent back to usual common time with pre-released single, “Arch Enemy,” – another trope of experimental oddity that the boys have tested throughout lockdown. However, it’s sad to state that “Lord of the Trapdoor” and “Black Hyena” are very forgetful filler songs, that do not really do the album justice, other than making up the numbers.
The album picks up again with calm and addicting Radio-head-like, “In Birdsong”, a song I admittedly had on repeat prior to the album being released; airy and in-motion. Finally, the album ends with erratic “Violent Sun”, a wonderfully-catchy single that embarks on the band getting back into their own roots – it’s just a shame that it was the end of the album. But truly explosive, nonetheless!
RE-ANIMATOR – The Virtual Tour
With RE-ANIMATOR ablaze with notions of a futuristic style for us to revive our lives up once again, the band accompanied the album with a virtual reality concert that allowed fans to revive the feeling of witnessing live music far better than any online concert could ever achieve. For fans, it was an extra-ordinary experience, to not only listen to the band’s new music but also gave a few lucky ones a chance to meet the band via virtual reality. Which is an odd concept to get your head around, I’m sure.
Amidst concerns of internet connectivity, the concert was an overall success, with the Mancunian group finding a new way to overcome and adapt the lack of live music concerts that can be put in their normal hospitable environments across the globe.
Of course, nothing can ever replicate witnessing live music in the flesh, the atmosphere in the air, the booming bass filtering in your ears and the roaring crowd that constantly competes for the sheer intensity the band tries to create.
It seems that the virtual reality concert missed the mark with these, but the originality for it was certainly there. With it more as a sharing lobby between an artist and their fans with the right tech, it certainly showed a sense of potential during a time of upmost need for live music interaction – but I don’t necessarily think it’s a keeper for the live music industry.
With the album delivering partial elements of brilliance – from loveable synth lines that seem to be taken directly from the soundtrack of Netflix’s Stranger Things – in an otherwise laid-back approach to the band’s usual dealings, the virtual reality virtual tour was a touch of sheer originality that matched the album’s intricacy.
Top work, me thinks.