Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

Everclear “Welcome to the Drama Club” Review

Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

Everclear’s new album Welcome to the Drama Club is a wasted effort from a nonexistent band past its prime. While such a criticism might be merited, actually listening to the album proves it wrong. What has Art Alexakis done? The band is different, but the music is refreshingly enjoyable. The band that backed him to initial fame and success is now a distant memory and the current band, formerly a trio, is now a five-piece. The hard gritty sounds that took a serious look at drugs’ crumbling influence on already dying relationships is no longer there, nor has it been for years. “Kids come up to me and say, ‘man, I wish you could write another Sparkle and Fade,’ and I go ‘I’m sure there’s some other kid out there that will.” And with this one defining statement Welcome to the Drama Clubmakes sense. The new band makes sense, and the new songs, with a new tone, make sense.

Undoubtedly it becomes a challenge to make sense of your career in modern rock when your songs have been critically overlooked for years. As the most popular mainstream affection for your songs came over a decade ago it has to be difficult to find relevance within your own music. Closure to a career seemed to come with a retrospective album of hits with the release of 2004’s Ten Years Gone: The Best of Everclear 1994-2004. But as Alexakis’ previously mentioned statement reflects a change brought on by years of success and failure, his new material reflects an introduction to an older man, looking back on the experiences that could influence a new generation.

The starting point for most will be the album’s lackluster first single “Hater.” The album version starts off with somewhat of a vulgar “Rock Superstar” intro which is completely unnecessary and detracts from the song. To be honest it’s what should be expected of Everclear, it is the wasted effort showing a band that has past its prime. The upside is that the rest of the album demonstrats an increased sense of maturity, and a return to strong modern rock. Tracks like “Shine” turn a similar, undeniably Everclear song into something that rings far-from-Everclear; as much the rest of the album does.

It could just be that I too had written Everclear off for too long and am now realizing that there is some sort of continuation of substance and heartache in the modern Art Alexakis Band. With general themes revolving around broken relationships, Alexakis might not have completely moved on content-wise and grown into a state of charitable reflection as marketing would like you to believe, but at least he’s not looking for another “Heartspark Dollarsign.”

[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]