Evans The Death’s new album, Expect Delays, is a fantastic effort that will sadly be overlooked due to the band’s relative obscurity. Expect Delays is everything that has been lacking from generic, strat driven, all-star wearing Radio 1 Indie-pop; off beat, droning, melancholic and dowsed in a drowsy haze, Expect Delays is a beautiful wreck. Opening track “Intrinsic Grey” showcases this perfectly, building from a whisper to acoustic guitar, through to chaotic grunge, before falling apart and resurrecting all over again.
Evans The Death are blessed with a fantastic line-up. Katherine Whitaker (vocals & keyboard) is dissonant and jarring; Whitaker is mesmeric, and soft. “Waste of Sunshine” showcases James Burkitt’s sensitivity as a drummer. With a kit that is just as happy to shout as it is to whisper, Burkitt crashes through “Bad Year”, “Clean Up” and “Terrified” in the album’s more upbeat moments.
“Idiot Button” is the standout track on this album, at once as stripped back and earthy as it is smooth and dripping with reverb. Whitaker’s vocals soar over Burkitt’s smashing percussion and Dan Moss’s guitar lines marry the two as he alternates between punchy chord volleys and melting solo work. If all the album’s aggression is thrashed out in the anarchic “Enabler”, its morose despondency comes through in “Just 60,000 More Days ‘Til I Die”. In an album which is full of contradictory, but somehow complimentary, moments the only marginally vanilla moment is on “Shanty”, but even then Whittaker’s upbeat delivery of crushing lyrical content continues this delightful pattern of reconciling contraries.
In all, it is their keen awareness of presence and space that marks Evans The Death’s latest album out as something pretty damn special. There is a pause on “Don’t Laugh at My Angry Face”, from 00:57 – 1:00 , and the way Moss’ guitar cuts through the grungy mist is spectacular; a slow treading, draining melody over Burkitt’s crashing kit which moves into Whitaker’s choral, mournful notes. It’s rare that you can pin it down so well, but that is the exact moment you know this band, this album, is something special.