It’s been said before and it’ll be said again thousands of times – there aren’t enough women in rock music. Sure, there are increasing numbers of frontwomen like Hayley Williams, Jenna McDougall and Lynn Gunn, but most of you reading this can probably count female instrumentalists in today’s scene on one hand. That’s why the lack of activity in all-female band Evarose’s camp of late has been disappointing. After releasing their most recent EP over three years ago, their newly released debut album sees Evarose under the microscope more than ever.
Straight off the bat, it seems that there’s been absolutely no development in the three-year break. Evarose sound pretty much the same as they did on their first release. Invisible Monsters sounds very rough around the edges and is made up of amateur songwriting and forgettable melodies that are far from the Paramores and You Me At Sixes they’re trying to emulate. There’s a contrasting tougher spin on the standard pop-rock format evident throughout the record, but Evarose seem to have confused changing up the genre for making it more serious in general. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that, but the overall inaccessibility hook-wise just makes a lot of these songs blend together. Apart from its swirling guitars, The Fall fails to make an impact while I Know You Know is completely lacking in any kind of character. Glitch fares slightly better in that it actually has a more distinct chorus, but it’s such a simplistic one that the word “effortless” comes to mind in the worse sense of the definition.
The thing probably more present in Invisible Monsters is emotion, and the tracks that channel moods the most are the album’s highlights. I’m Sorry is scornful through and through, while Provoke Me bleeds self-pity and anger at the same time. It’s Provoke Me that has both the strongest vocal performance from Dannika Webber and the catchiest (and probably best written) chorus on the record. But the ballad-like Telephonic is perhaps the biggest area of growth for Evarose. Soft, sweet verses and a soaring chorus really stands out from the rest of their material – in general, not just on this album. While these tracks are album highlights, the general issue of poor lyrics on this record would make it hard for them to stay afloat when compared to other pop-rock outfits. “Meet me at the front door / I’ll let you in / if you win the thumb war / I’ll show you round” is just one of the cringey couplets on Invisible Monsters that illustrate the long way Evarose have to go.
It’s disappointing, because at the time of their EP releases, Evarose had the potential to be something big in a few years’ time. Now those few years are up, and they’re still barely off the starting blocks. They clearly have ideas but don’t know how to present them, like pointless wispy interlude Breathing Space or adding a mood-killing key change to the end of Quicksand which takes Webber’s voice down a few tones – a wasted opportunity to show off her fantastic range. The talent’s all there with Evarose, but the execution needs work and development. If they’d struck while the iron was hot and released this album sooner after their EPs, it might’ve seemed more relevant. But in 2016, it seems dated and falls well below the standard expected from a band with so much potential who’ve had so much time to record. The final lyric on this album is “you could’ve been something”, and the fact that this is all too fitting for Evarose says it all.
For fans of: Paramore, You Me At Six, Kids In Glass Houses
Words by Georgia Jackson
‘Invisible Monsters’ by Evarose is out now.