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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Everything Under (EU)

Infinite Genre

Review by Travis Jensen

The music scene today has taken on all forms. There are many artists that have made successful transitions for one style of music over another, making what people enjoy quite a broad spectrum. If you ask the general public what they prefer musically, you would probably hear “I like just about everything.” While most people do like just about everything, you can guarantee that they do have their preferences. One of the largest preferences of music is definitely the alternative genre, which has not only blossomed musically over the last twenty years, but has also become a way of life to many as far as how to dress, act and live your life by. Many of these groups have not just made a successful living at this, they have become legendary idols. Although Everything Under isn’t legendary…yet, they do have a style of their own that could catch fire and become the band to follow for the next several years as we continue into the new millennium.  

The driving forces behind this Midwest magical duo are Mark and Arastoo. Although the two have known each other for many years prior, the band didn’t come together officially until 2007 when they recorded their first demo album titled 81. When I first heard EU, I tried to put my finger on exactly what I was listening to. Was it alternative, hip-hop or techno? Was it a combination of all three, or was it something from another time in which this style of music has forgotten? I wasn’t exactly sure, so I listened to it some more, and what I did figure out is that it was like nothing else that I had heard before.

In a recent interview, the band’s founding leader, Mark Heidecke goes on to say I wouldn't like to label it, but if I had to describe it to somebody, I'd say it was unique Pop blends of Electronic rock and down tempo industrial, which in a sense makes it experimental, but really isn't that what music is supposed to be?” He also goes on to say that As for what our music sounds like?  Not understanding or knowing what genre this is? We will take that as a huge compliment if you still consider it good music.” It is very mystical and yes, very powerful as well. I went into some form of musical transcendental meditation, if you will, as one song went into the next. In a press-letter from Arastoo, he is quoted as saying Perhaps we are now at a cross roads; at a time where we are learning new tools for a new explosion of ideas and creativity.  Perhaps I am being too optimistic, but hope is what we can go by for now.  Everything Under  is an endeavor to become a pivotal point for the necessary change.  Our lyrics, production style, unique arrangements, and incorporation of different styles and instruments are the tools we use to set us apart from the rest. “ For those wanting a taste of this intricate ear-candy, you can go to www.music-eu.com to get yourself a copy of the latest album, or just check them out on their MySpace page at www.myspace.com/eumusic for a free live album download off Amazon and iTUNES & Rhapsody. 

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Healed
This one seems to grow and becomes more powerful as the lyrics seduce you into becoming part of the song. The natural flow of the cut let’s you drift through its entirety with ease, where at no time are you disturbed by anything harsh or abrupt.
Invited
I particularly like the intro rhythm here. Although the song is mainly comprised of spoken word, it seems to draw you in with not only the story, but the synthesized effects that make it a lot more entrancing. It seems to me that this track could use a little more, though, were more of a chorus or melody range in lyrical styles were incorporated.
Regret Your Memory
If you liked the last track, then this one will give you the same feeling as well. This is a very hypnotizing, relaxing song…something to get a massage to, perhaps. What I like about this cut is the use of vocals and percussion sounds that takes us to the end of the song. It’s a creative way of integrating a diverse musical style with something that isn’t typical or predictable.
Drivin’ All Alone
This has the potential to be something more than just a song, almost as if you could plug in your own ideas and thoughts to form your own version of a mental image of placing yourself inside the setting of the lyrics. The techno-core vibe to this one is really creative, kind of like if you were to become a character in a strange video game or cartoon.
Blame
I like the abstraction and bending of the notes on this one, which makes what should be a calming song into something which is almost surrealistic, kind of like a Twilight Zone episode. However, the rhythmic qualities tie it together with the vocals as something very calming through what may appear as dissonant.
Blue v1.2
I particularly enjoy the combination of musical styles in this track. There is a melodic rap element here that mixes with a hypnotizing rhythm that seems to bring the use of various instruments towards the pinnacle of their intended function. I cannot help to think of the rapper Ice-T as far as the vocal style is concerned…before he went into acting, of course. So far, I’m very impressed and my mind is already racing…I have now found my comfort zone with this album.
So Petty
So I guess I’m questioning the song’s title, as I was expecting something much more intriguing with the lyrics. This song puts you in a different frame of mind that is the complete opposite of any flowing beats before it. It’s like a journey to another planet in a low-rider. The somber qualities are what really make this one different than the others.
Start The End
This one is definitely different than the first, with more of a “club-vibe” to it. It is more upbeat and appears to have some techno mixed in. However, the vocal style is still the same, which also takes the rap element and combines it with the softer contrasting background vocals that give it a necessary balance to keep it from becoming redundant. 
For The Long Run
This seems to be part two of the last song, where the vocals seem slightly different, almost as if there are two ways of expressing the same point. I particularly like the background distortions and guitar solo in this one as the song continues. Then it’s back to earth again, as the vocals and softer beats take you to the enigmatic end.
Blue v2.2
I love the diversity of the vocals in this one. This is probably my “X-pill” song. I suppose if I had to place a setting on this song, it might be for a murder scene in a horror movie. The dominant vocals and repetitive chorus probably lend itself to that particular image in my head.
 
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