Evans the Death
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Evans the Death

London, England, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE

London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Alternative Pop




"Expect Delays Album review"

Songs by Evans the Death — a London band named after the undertaker in Dylan Thomas’s “Under Milk Wood” — flare up fast and don’t let up on its second album, “Expect Delays” (Slumberland). The songs revitalize the frantic 1990s indie-rock take on psychedelia in the way they hurl themselves into a brawl of melody versus noise. The melody comes largely from Katherine Whitaker’s vocals, as she grapples with circumstances and people, especially herself, in songs with indicative titles like “Idiot Button,” “Waste of Sunshine” and “Badyear.” Behind her, the very analog- and live-sounding band slams the beat and cranks up the distortion. In “Clean Up,” Ms. Whitaker offers, “Come in and see the awful mess that I have left behind/I know that you won’t mind” — and it’s a mess the band can be proud of. - New York Times

"Expect Delays album review"

Evans the Death's self-titled first album burst forth with the energetic fervor of youth, the group tearing through songs like it was a race to the finish, while vocalist Katherine Whitaker rode the churning waves of sound like a champion surfer. Their second album is a bleaker, more resigned and bitter affair. Recorded over a three-year span during which the bandmembers suffered through poverty and breakups, Expect Delays trades the fire of youth for the weary desperation that comes with growing older, and while it's a different kind of album, it works just as well. Where Evans the Death felt like the work of a band reveling in the noise it was making, Expect Delays is more like an intense and violent therapy session that plays out in short blasts of passion and dismay. The band shows more restraint, holding back on the guitar attack only to unleash it where it will do the most damage, while adding more keyboards and more fleshed-out arrangements. To that end, Expect Delays is a more musically diverse album, as well as a more nuanced emotional experience thanks to arrangements that feature Whitaker's very striking vocals in a way that allows for maximum impact. There are still songs that sound like alternate-universe pop singles, like the Pretenders-esque "Sledgehammer" and "Bad Year," tracks that have all the swagger and punch of their debut ("Enabler," the shoegazey "Clean Up"), and a few that head out in pleasing new directions. The acoustic guitar-led "Just 60,000 More Days 'Til I Die," which wobbles and warbles like a working-class Cocteau Twins, and the heavily reverbed dirge pop of "Waste of Sunshine" are two examples of the band stretching its sound and doing it well. Overall, Expect Delays is a stunning second record that captures all the band's roiling emotions and wraps them into a package that's just as exciting, but even more interesting, than the first album. It's exactly what a second album should be, and it's rare that any band delivers as well as Evans the Death do here. - Allmusic

"Expect Delays review"

“Intrinsic Grey” sets the tone. The first song on Evans the Death’s second album is a glorious trainwreck, a stuttering, amped-up gem that regularly collapses under the weight of its own feedback. This is calamity-packed pop music, storm and stress with a melody, with guitars careening into each other and a rhythm section that lurches like a multi-car pile-up down on the highway.

Evans the Death is a four-piece pop band from London that finds beauty within noise. Naturally they’re on Slumberland in the States—they sidle up just fine alongside Black Tambourine or Boyracer. Their strongest asset is Katherine Whitaker’s voice, which is powerful but tender, joyous and carefree on one song and heartbreakingly sad on the next. Her voice is like a jar of honey on top of a stack of busted amps.

“Intrinsic Grey” isn’t a false start—the band loves a nice din. “Terrified” almost buries a bouncy organ riff and danceable rhythm under sheets of guitar fuzz. The dirge-like “Don’t Laugh at My Angry Face” seems to coat every instrument with distortion, from bass to guitars to Whitaker’s keyboards. Imagine Les Rallizes Denudes if they wrote a pop duet in English that peaks just a little bit lower in the red than most of their stuff.

Still, this is a pop band. The record’s highlights come on such meat-and-potatoes indie-pop songs as “Sledgehammer” and “Bad Year,” where the band’s love of noise works alongside their knack for melody and catchy riffs to produce timeless pop songs. It comes to a head on “Clean Up,” which is like a two-minute cathedral of guitar riffs and frantic drumming with Whitaker singing for forgiveness. It’s a song that would work on college radio or lovelorn indie rock mixtapes from any era. Tough but sugary, Expect Delays is an unhindered blast. - Paste

"Expect Delays album review"

For a subgenre that is so reverentially discussed as shoegaze, it’s no surprise that people have been anticipating a revival of sorts since the early 00’s. Truth is, though, it never really went away – those hazy, circular guitar lines that drone with no shortage of feedback have been a quietly persistent theme in rock and indie music ever since its pinnacle, but there seems to be a particularly large swell of bands with a predilection for MBV-inspirited reverb and distortion of late.

Through proving that not all C86-indebted acts of today are just jangle and fey posturing, Evans The Death have already been needlessly bracketed under said revival, though subtle sonic comparisons are aplenty: bass-heavy "Terrified", for example, ebbs and flows like a classic shoegaze track. Katherine Whitaker’s voice is typically dulcet, but it’s nowhere near obscured or indistinct enough to warrant the full shoegaze ascription. Instead, it’s well-crafted, intelligent indie pop that best defines them.

With artistic maturation being an intrinsic part of any band's progress, it should come as no shock that Expect Delays is overall more accomplished than its predecessor. Like the best second albums, Evans The Death have honed their sound rather than completely negating the sprightly melodic-pop charm that made their debut so appealing; not so much picking up where the debut left off, but enhancing and refining it instead. Despite cleaning things up a bit on production, the band remain true to their tendency for lyrical pessimism, and it’s a welcomed non-departure for the dejected among us: look no further than the frantic frustration of "Bad Year"’ and the jagged despondency of "Idiot Button" for conviction.

There are so many nuanced triumphs here: Whitaker’s vital cadences atop of guitar distortion recalls a more vocal version of My Bloody Valentine’s sonic explorations – and although not a particularly unique affinity – it works incredibly well, and it’s not one bit contrived or unwarranted. Elsewhere the hurried fuzz of tracks like "Enabler" "Bad Year" and "Sledgehammer" are wonderfully counteracted by the contemplative quieter moments, like the introspective brilliance of "Waste Of Sunshine" and loud/quiet, frantic balladry of "Idiot Button".

In all, it's the band's discordant youthful cynicism and Whitaker's distinctive voice – both delicate and squalling - that prevail here, making Expect Delays a veritable success. It’s a quality that separates them from the rest of the modern indie pop contingent, while they simultaneously dispel the myth of the tricky follow-up. The difficult second album never sounded so effortlessly good. - Line of Best Fit

"Expect Delays album review"

Three strands entwine in the DNA of Expect Delays, the second album by the preposterously young and eternally drunk London quartet Evans the Death. Strand number one is absolutely unshakable classic pop instincts: reviewers tend to note the Eighties indiepop influence on Evans, but their chart-attack tendencies go way deeper than that – it’s Sixties girl groups, it’s Seventies bubblegum, it’s Cilla Black, the Shangri-Las and the Ronettes. Whatever else orbits their music, Katherine Whitaker's cut-glass, effortlessly distanced and properly English melodies mean there’s a sugared heart to each track.

Strand two is a lyrical misery that comes straight from the bedsit. Whitaker is, to put it mildly, a bit down on herself. Expect Delays is the worn-down cry of a woman whose life is a bit of a mess. On ‘Intrinsic Grey’ she’s falling apart, she can’t escape the bleakness and she can “never be anyone else”. On ‘Idiot Button’ she “wakes up still drunk”, ‘Terrified’ is about night terrors, while on ‘Enabler’ she’s looking for someone who loves her enough to facilitate her bad decisions. It’s properly miserable stuff, delightfully at odds with the upbeat charm in the melodies, an age old trick used to great effect by everyone from the Smiths and the Cure to Bowie.

Strand three is the acid bath. Possibly to counter the purity of their pop, or the heart-on-her-sleeve confessions in the lyrics the band push their songs through a blender of phasers and flanges, reverbs and wobbles, using every Sonic-Youth-meets-My Bloody Valentine-meets-the-Mary-Chain trick in the early Nineties playbook. The guitars on ‘Terrified’ sicken and lurch, while ‘Clean Up’s straight-forward indie jangle crashes and jars against itself in a bracingly drunk swagger. Sometimes they’re going out of their way to be abrasive, ‘Don’t Laugh At My Angry Face’ delights in building itself up, disintegrating, dissolving and building up again. The four-piece feel constantly on the edge of falling apart, and it makes listening to them an invigorating, edge-of-the-seat experience rare in such a pleasingly catchy collection.

Of course when you add Sixties girl-pop to English misery the spectre of the Smiths is never far away, and Morrissey and Marr haunt Expect Delays like a bequiffed Banquo. ‘Just 60,000 Days Til I Die’ is pure Queen Is Dead melancholia, and ‘Sledgehammer,’ from spiralling riff through thumping backbeat has “Johnny Marr woz ‘ere” written through it like a stick of rock. ‘Idiot Button’ goes further down the classic pop route than even the Smiths would have dared, summoning the ghosts of Burt Bacharach and Phil Spector and making them nurse a hangover in a filthy student bedroom. Like everything here it is absolutely, miserably and irresistibly glorious.

Listening to Expect Delays is like playing with a naked Barbie doll with bubblegum in its hair and a half melted face. This is a confident, electrifying, weirdo-pop stormer of an album that deserves your attention. If there’s one thing we can take away from 45 minutes spent in Evans the Death’s company it’s that the world is gruelling and unfair place, which is a shame because if there was any justice (and apparently there isn’t) 2015 would be their year. Brilliant. - Drowned in Sound

"Midyear Report: 12 for '12 A dozen of the best singles from the year so far"

Evans the Death, "I'm So Unclean." A rumbling throwback to the earliest days of indie, this crashing barn burner about a woman so paralyzed by romance that all she can do is stare at her cat and her TV is made transcendent by the vocal performance of Katherine Whitaker, who provides a voice to the kind of despair that seems frozen on the surface but is engaging in an absolute rage fest just below it. - Village Voice

"Nitsuh Abebe's Top Ten Albums of 2012"

8. Evans the Death, Evans the Death (Slumberland)
It’s a modest row to hoe, this droll British guitar-pop about youthful ennui. But Evans the Death hoe it with lovable panache—much of it from singer Katherine Whitaker, whose ear for phrasing and wryly evocative lyrics are squarely in Morrissey’s tradition. - NY Magazine

"Evans The Death ‘Evans The Death’"

There’s nothing I enjoy more than picking out the earliest seeds of talent in an unimpressive new band. “Just you watch,” I say, “this band is going to be massive.” So it’s always a bit disconcerting when a band crashes down out of the blue fully formed. That’s why, when I first listened to Evans the Death, I figured it must be a new project from some 40-something Sarah Records veterans. It’s not that it sounds like middle-aged music, but it is certainly far too sophisticated to be any twee kids’ debut. If this were actually the first album from a young band, it would put all of us to shame.

It is, and it has. Evans the Death is a gaggle of fresh-faced youths from London, England, and this self-titled record is their first full-length foray into the world. The music is classic indie pop: short, sweet, melody-driven songs with a noisy, messy intimacy that keeps them “indie.” What stands out about this band isn’t that they’ve invented anything drastically new or attempted some overly-ambitious opus. It’s that they’ve created what, as far as I can tell, is the Perfect Pop Album.

If there’s anything I like more than wagering told-you-sos on unlikely bands’ eventual success, it’s finding something to criticize – but try as I might, I can’t find one thing I would change about this LP. I’m not saying it’s Rubber Soul or anything, but I can’t think of one better pop record to come out in the last few years. And the beautiful thing is, there’s nothing to it, no wild electronics or self-conscious production effects, just guitars and drums and singing. ‘Cause when you’ve got songs this good, you don’t need any of that junk.

Only two songs on Evans the Death crack three minutes, and those two not by much. There’s also not a song among them that couldn’t hold its own as a single. The arrangements are rich with overdriven guitars and clever bass hooks, and the vocal melodies are complex enough to be interesting but still hopelessly catchy. And by the way, lead vocalist Katherine Whittaker has pipes – just when I thought on-key singing with good tone was dead forever. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Beat Happening as much as the next kid but Evans the Death’s brand of indie pop is not meant to follow in the twee tradition of Calvin-how-flat-can-we-sing-it-Johnson. It’s indie pop made by young adults who aren’t afraid to sound like adults.

This band has an ear for details too. On the raging opener, “Bo Diddley”, a delicious distorted guitar slides to a perfect stop in the breath before the chorus. The unassuming drumming on “Letter of Complaint” breaks up a slow 4/4 so it sounds almost like a waltz. And where “Wet Blanket” drops to a hum before its final chorus, the bass is adorned with a quiet net of scrapes and chirps. The phenomenal “I’m So Unclean”, with its flawless, surging melody, stands out as the best track, but “Bo Diddley”, “Threads” and “Telling Lies” are tied for a close second. “Letter of Complaint” turns down the volume and the tempo, but the twisting tune and careful arrangement never drag. The acoustic closer “You’re Joking”, the only song not written by Dan Moss but by his brother Olly, disarms with its subdued simplicity.

The lyrics are oddly antisocial, although it’s easy to overlook this with the songs’ youthful energy and enticing melodies. But at least three or four tracks are dedicated to wanting to stay at home and be left alone. Meanwhile, the deeply paranoid “Threads” refers to the British Cold War film about an England wiped out by nuclear war. You won’t catch the band taking itself too seriously, though; there’s always a hint of the tongue-in-cheek. “Catch Your Cold” is an entertaining list of things the author is afraid of (“public transport officials”) and not afraid of (“catching your cold”). And I don’t want to give too much away, so I will just say that “A Small Child” is certainly one of the funniest songs to see vinyl in 2012.

A pop band is a pop band, and Evans the Death hasn’t invented anything new. What they have done is write twelve brilliant songs and make a recording so we can listen to them at home as much as we like. And if you’ve a fondness for melody, that’s going to be a lot.
Rating: 8/10 - PopMatters

"30 Best New Bands of 2012"

Young London outfit Evans the Death have a genuine weapon in the form of vocalist Katherine Whitaker, whose voice can go from highwire howls to tender prettiness and back. It adds a beauteous contrast to the band's raggedy indie-rock racket, which leans often on distortion and brashness. Even better: Whitaker's singing the witty words of songwriter/guitarist Dan Moss, which are mischievous and satirical in the great tradition of English indie-pop smart-asses (think: Howard Devoto, Edwyn Collins, Morrissey, Jarvis Cocker, Darren Hayman et al). And, at their best, the lyrics can be both hilarious and beautiful, like in single "I'm So Unclean," when Whitaker mournfully, tenderly carols "When I'm watching the shopping channel, I will think of you." - About.com

"Evans the Death Evans the Death Londoner's Dreamy Pop Debut"

There's something incredibly heart-warming about that ever-so-British proposition of film and lit inspired pop provided it's done properly.You can imagine Jarvis Cocker and Kate Jackson smiling beatifically at the thought of their music birthing Evans the Death.The quintet's debut is a scrappy yet romantic proposition, like greasy chips for two at 4am. But it's smart and gutsy too: a clatter and pummel underscoring Katherine Whitaker's sweet, yet punchy vocals. Whether it's slugging a box of wine (You're Joking), missing the bus (Sleeping Song) or plain old sandwich-making, Evans the Death manage to make humdrum every day existence sound quite magical. 8/10 - Q Magazine (print)

"New Music Review: Evans The Death; ‘Evans The Death’ (LISTEN)"

Every song on Evans The Death’s debut album on Slumberland Records (and Fortuna Pop in Europe) is a well-crafted piece of guitar-pop, without a wasted note or whiff of excess. Evans The Death prefer to speed through their hook-filled songs in just enough time to get them inextricably stuck in your head. The band excels at both the noisier, fast-paced songs that make up the bulk of the album and the occasional ballads showcasing Katherine Whitaker’s gorgeous vocals, while transitioning seamlessly from song to song.
If there is a complaint to be had with Evans The Death (and it’s a small one), it’s that two of the album’s best songs — “Telling Lies” and “Morning Voice” recently appeared on a single, with “Morning Voice” in a different (and, I think, better) version on that single. In fact, two other songs on the album — “Threads” and “I’m So Unclean” — have appeared on a single as well, making the album only about 2/3 new material. Obviously this won’t matter for those who haven’t heard the songs before, and that the songs are so well-integrated into the whole of the album renders this a very minor problem for those who have (although it might have been prudent to separate “Telling Lies” and “Morning Voice,” which appear back-to-back).
“Bo Diddley” starts the album chugging along at the brisk pace most of the rest of the album will take. Evans The Death doesn’t mess around with a long instrumental intro, or ease you into the charge of their debut. After the bass line announces the song’s intention to bowl you over, the guitars come screeching in, followed shortly by Katherine Whitaker’s melodic vocals. The mix is perfect, even the adornment of a few piano notes that crops up occasionally seems like a necessary piece of the puzzle.
“Catch Your Cold” keeps things shuffling along nicely. Not quite the corker of the opener, it’s nonetheless an upbeat pop song crammed with hooks. They just keep things a little less noisy and a little more atmospheric. Dan and Olly Moss’s melodic guitar lines really carry the song, the perfect complement to Whitaker’s vocals, while a fantastic bass part propels the song forward while adding some muscle.
“Sleeping Song” slows things down just a tad: sparse and jangly guitar, a rolling bassline and a keyboard part form the instrumental crux of the song. A dreamy, unexpected end to the song transitions perfectly into “Letter of Complaint.” It’s a good example of how economical Evans The Death are — instead of a long bridge leading to the outro, they just throw you right into it without wasting time.
“Letter of Complaint” is a slow ballad that really showcases how brilliant Katherine Whitaker’s vocals are. On many songs she’s trying to keep up with the rest of the band, belting out over the noise (and always succeeding at being noticed) but on “Letter of Complaint” her vocals are given room to breathe over just spare guitar, organ and shuffling drums — and they really shine.
“Telling Lies” picks the pace back up, and is probably the album’s highlight. It was recently released as a single — and for good reason. The song is filled to the brim with hooks in everything from the catchy melody to the guitar solo to the propulsive bass. There isn’t a wasted note and it’s pretty impossible to not get this song stuck in your head.
At 3:35 “Morning Voice” is the album’s longest song. It starts off at a slow-pace with Katherine Whitaker‘s voice floating heavenly above only a jangly rhythm guitar. A little over the minute mark the rhythm section enters and transforms the song. Although I prefer the version that appears as the B-side to “Telling Lies” I really can’t complain about the (also) great version here.
“Threads” is a fast, noisy blast of energy. It speeds along in just over two minutes, ending in a squall of feedback. It functions well as a bridge between the more subdued “Morning Voice” and “A Small Child,” benefiting from its juxtaposition with those songs.
“A Small Child” starts with just guitar and vocals, before speeding up when the rest of the band enters. It’s similar to the transformation midway through “Morning Voice” but even more pronounced. The misanthropic lyrics (“I believe the children are the scourge of the streets”) call to mind the kind of bile Morissey might dish out and make for the album’s most lyrically interesting song.
Whitaker’s impressive vocals are on full display on “I’m So Unclean,” as she sweeps her voice up to a gorgeous falsetto during the verses. The rest of the band chugs along, providing their own hooks in the form of a keyboard run, elastic bass line and occasional lead guitar accents.
“What’s In Your Pocket” is maybe Whitaker’s most swoon-worthy vocal performance. Evans The Death just packs as much as they can into this song, which clocks in at just under two minutes. It scorches by so fast it’s easy to miss all the find details, like the tasteful guitar solo, the first time around.
“Wet Blanket” opens with just Whitaker’s “oohs” and a rolli - The Faster Times

"The Proper Ornaments/ Evans The Death The Shacklewell Arms, London"

Channelling the scuzzy, shambolic spirit of 90s era art rock in album reject ‘Hello Seems To Be The Hardest Word’ whilst recalling The Long Blondes in debut single ‘Threads’, the music works best at its most unashamedly poppy moments, as ragged and frayed as they may be. - The Fly

"Evans the Death Evans the Death"

On their debut self-titled album, the London combo Evans the Death crib from all the right places. A little shoegaze noise, a bunch of jagged post-punk rumble, some thundering noise pop crescendos, the occasional spot of Wedding Present-style propulsion, and a healthy dose of assured girl-pop from all along the girl-pop time line (Blondie to the Shop Assistants to Veronica Falls) make up the group's sound. Top it off with the Morrissey-esque vocals of Katherine Whitaker and a batch of very strong songs, and Evans the Death easily become more than the sum of their parts. Whitaker is always the focus; her crooning, fluttering vocals are placed way out front as she weaves her way through guitarist/songwriter Dan Moss' witty words and melodies. She's best when she keeps herself in check and doesn't let the melody float away, especially on tracks where she attacks like a desperate lover ("Catch Your Cold," "I'm So Unclean") or grabs on tight to the rollicking, shuddering music and won't let go ("Bo Diddley," "Threads"). The bandmembers are also good at attacking the songs, hitting the choruses hard and playing the hell out of their instruments the rest of the time. It comes together like a finely tuned, highly deadly machine almost all the time, hitting pop gold on the album's best song, "Telling Lies." It has the kind of chorus Blondie would have traded all their skinny ties for. Good luck getting it out of your head, since it's stickier than a campfire singalong. The only time the album drags a touch is on the final song, "You're Joking," which is a guitar/voice ballad that feels just a little too "last song" to truly work and ends the record on a down note. Otherwise, Evans the Death is a stunning debut that may not change the way you think about indie rock, but the band plays with so much passion and the songs are so good, it doesn't matter that maybe you've heard it (in some form) before. 8/10 - AllMusic

"Evans The Death - Evans The Death (Fortuna POP!) UK release date: 2 April 2012"

Fortuna POP! boss Sean Price reckons Evans The Death have the potential to do anything they want. As the band's label manager, he would say that, of course – you never hear of such a figure proudly announcing their artists will be playing the toilet circuit forever and a day. Yet there's a certain wilful precociousness about Evans The Death that has undoubted appeal. Naming your band after a character in a Dylan Thomas piece (an undertaker in Under Milk Wood, if you were wondering), and having a début single that references the simultaneously revered and feared Northern mid-'80s nuclear winter drama Threads acts as unequivocal evidence of their self-belief and adds a sense of decidedly British individuality.

The album is one of that's as frenetic as it is instant, melodic and catchy. Take early track Catching A Cold as an example, which blasts out of the traps sounding like the best thing that evergreen late '80s indie darlings The Primitives never recorded. Elsewhere the galloping recent single shows that despite this only being the group's début effort their talents for producing a soaring chorus are already well established, and I'm So Unclean sounds like Laura Marling fronting The Ramones - something which works far, far better than it ever should do on paper.

The quieter moments demonstrate that Evans The Death are far from a one trick pony, with slow burners Letter Of Complaint and album closing You're Joking showcasing a nuanced school of songwriting beyond the scuzz-pop battering ram found on singles. Production from Rory Atwell (whose portfolio also boasts Veronica Falls and The Vaccines) seems to instinctively draw the musical focal points to the fore, be it the trebly hooks on the uptempo tracks, or Katherine Whitaker's vocals on the slower moments.

Lyrically the album details life's more run-of-the-mill (or if you're feeling especially uncharitable, downright mundane) moments, be it not wanting to go out (Letter Of Complaint), making sandwiches (I'm So Unclean) or emotional dependence (Wet Blanket). Under many, less talented musicians such topics could come across as uninspired, trite even. Yet such is the vigour and conviction in the music that surrounds, they themes merely become part of the charm.

With the likes of Tigercats, The Cribs and Los Campesinos! already making more than their fair share of high energy guitar-based pop it would be easy for this record to have slipped by largely unnoticed. The fact it not only stands its own, but stands out is testament to the quality of songwriting contains within. Hopefully helping the Fortuna POP! Label to finally shed its inaccurate twee associations, Evans The Death have proved on their vibrant début that they're not ready to go about digging their own grave just yet. Long may it continue.
- MusicOMH

"Evans The Death – Evans The Death"

The mucky fingerprints of adolescence are all over the self-titled debut by Evans The Death. The first lines of second track ‘Catch Your Cold’ give it away "I'm afraid of getting a job / I'm afraid of my neighbour's dog." And just like all the best young bands their debut album is bursting with infectious, coming undone music - and brimming with vigour and ambition.

Yet it’s also a record that is underpinned by anxiety and apprehension. There's a warmth, wit and youthful wisdom in Katherine Whitaker’s lyrics but it's mixed in with uncertainty about what the future holds. At times the exhilarating confidence that buzzes through most of the album makes you forget. Then you hear a line about needing to pass her driving test. Her youthful concerns are apparent on many songs. ‘Bo Diddley’ is a spiky pulsating opening, all about shrugging off low self-esteem issues with people making comments about her posture (‘those remarks are gonna cost yer’).

Meanwhile, ‘Sleeping song/So long’ is about… er sleep and deals with insomnia - 'sleep is a party, but my name’s not down so I’m not coming in'. Elsewhere ‘I’m so Unclean’ is propelled by a paranoid rhythm section and introspective lyrics about staying indoors, staring at the cat and not being able to face daylight.

Yet all this is done with a wry smile and a sense of humour. Sonically it's playful as well. Their bruised fuzz pop feels like it could fall apart at any minute. Dan Moss’ gift for melody keeps things together, particularly on the swooning ‘Wet Blanket’, irresistible first single ‘Threads’ and ‘Telling Lies’. Think new wave, post punk and the best bits of Britpop. The best description I could give is to say it sounds like early, raw sounding Blur fronted by Chrissie Hynde - and throw in some Ash, Weezer and The Smiths too and you’re almost there. Put simply, that means big infectious, fast paced hooks.

The band perfectly capture the angst and joy of youth through scuzzy guitar work and echoing vocals. It’s a mess in the very best way; exuberant guitar pop that is just as at home on your headphones as it is on the indie disco dancefloor.

And with tracks such as ‘Letter of Complaint’, with its beautiful layered vocals, and ‘Morning Voice’s’ kitchen sink melodrama and soaring vocals, they also show that there's more to Evans The Death than the ramshackle. Result: pass with distinction. - The 405

"Evans The Death, ‘Evans The Death’"

SPIN Rating:8 of 10

Foos-meets-Smiths guitar-pop made sweeter by frontwoman Katherine Whitaker's holy-shit vocal work. - Spin

"Evans The Death – Evans The Death BY SIMON TYERS,"

Debut albums by young bands are beasts all of their own, reflecting the pure energy rush of youth and enthrallment even as the lyrics dig deeper concerns that those of just adolescence. We understand that, and we embrace it as a first flush of exciting creativity. Evans The Death, five fresh-faced youngsters brought to us by the usually reliable Fortuna Pop! label, fit this ideal pretty snugly – fizzy, charging, loud indie pop songs, some reflective moments and the impression underneath that there’s plenty of room for development from this point, as good as it is by itself.

It helps that in main songwriter Dan Moss and singer Katherine Whitaker they have a writer/performer dynamic power duo, he with a neat faux-mundane turn of phrase, she in possession of a vocal style that can make elegant ennui and keen anticipation sound like the same thing. Whether intentionally or not that does suggest echoes of the Long Blondes, not just in their similar working practices but in the way seemingly trivial details and the minutiae of relationships are brought together into a whole. ‘Catch Your Cold’ has Whitaker list things she’s afraid of, including “my neighbour’s dog” and “public transport officials”, before in the chorus concluding “I’m not afraid of catching your cold”.

While they can pull off a slower, more reflective moment of self-consideration such as ‘Letter Of Complaint’ with its open, softer sound and Whitaker cooing about not wanting to go out just in case everything goes wrong, they seem more confident when scuffing up power pop. Sonically its scratchy, often fuzzed-out nature never crosses over into outright lo-fi as producer Rory Attwell (increasingly a name to watch behind the mixing desk following his work in the past year with Veronica Falls, Fair Ohs and Novella) makes sure everything still remains clear if not clean.

If there’s any consistent comparison to be made it’s as spiritual offspring to the “Blonde” mini-scene of the late ’80s, specifically the way the Primitives and the Darling Buds shaped pop melodies into something less definite and achieved some crossover success with it. ‘Telling Lies’, the most approachably cleaned up and jangly hook-heavy track here, has it in spades. Less straightforwardly ‘Sleeping Song’, a song actually about not sleeping (“sleep is a party but my name’s not down so I’m not coming in”), soars out of the blocks and pinballs around a ratchety melody, going full-on for the chorus, while working in the line “the sun is coming up like a hungover socialite” and suddenly cutting off after the second chorus into a single guitar figure. Then there’s ‘Threads’, which begins like fuzz pop’s equivalent of Apocalypse Now, a wall of feedback from which emerges a spectacular buzzsaw riff and a taut, frantic two minute rush of noise and on-edge lyrical confusion in which Whitaker bemoans being forced to watch the 1984 BBC nuclear war fallout docu-drama of the same title. That’s followed by ‘A Small Child Punched Me In The Face’: a voice-and-guitar miniature becoming a full band ragged stomp which is nearly as good as both its title and its first line “I believe that children are the scourge of our streets”.

As is inevitable with such a record it’s not completely consistent, even sometimes within the same song, and it runs out of steam at the end, but with its bruised adolescent anxiety translated into nervous energy with a semi-hidden intelligence, a sense of humour and a winning way with rocket fuelled distorto-pop shapes it’s a very fine start. - The Line of Best Fit

"Evans the Death Evans the Death Slumberland"

By Maura Johnston
May 23, 2012
This London band mixes post–Smiths jangle and early–grunge sludge, as Katherine Whitaker explores varying shades of bad romance. Her raw emotion blends with slashing,whirling guitars to inject paralysis with weird power. - Rolling Stone

"This Many Boyfriends - Live At The Lexington, London With support from Evans the Death"

Typical. Just when you think 4/4 indie guitar pop has little left to offer society, other than the slow decomposition of 30-year-old ideas, along comes a band with “death” in their name and suddenly it feels like you can breathe again. Evans the Death must surely be one of the most exciting prospects on the circuit, and predictably they’re already being pigeonholed as a result, specifically as something halfway between C86 and the late ‘80s “blonde” scene.

Get over the fact that singer Katherine Whitaker is, by virtue of a startling coincidence, blonde, and this turns out to be meaningless. Their debut album (the excitingly-titled ‘Evans the Death’) both over- and under-produces their trademark frayed messiness with nods to far more diverse influences. Tonight, the whole thing’s distilled to a critical mass of ragged, nervy riffs and springy basslines, most of which sounds like it could unravel at any moment.

Whitaker herself is a superb vocal talent. On the album, her drawly style highlights the terribly English bathos of ETD’s lyrical matter – love in a world of lie-ins, microwave meals and kitchen sinks. But seconds into ‘Threads’ – a squawking disarray of curves and angles about a scary documentary – she’s moved from almost dismissive, low-pitched utterances, through breathy high notes, into a full-powered, scathing howl and back again. A false start to ‘Letter of Complaint’ leaves her looking a touch dissatisfied, but there’s something life-affirming about a band as young, edgy and coolly dispassionate as this. - Clash Magazine

"New Noise Live - August"

Two days later, laden with the kind of head cold that makes you ache all over, I slowly made my way to The Windmill in Brixton. I’d planned to catch the promising Dead Slow and Rory Bratwell-fronted Warm Brains, but gridlock in the area ensured I’d only see Evans The Death’s headline set. As they took to the stage I found myself crumpled against a wall as far to the left as possible, one eye on the band and the other on the clock. But not for long.

The thunderous delivery of ‘Hello Seems To Be The Hardest Word’ raised my tired eyebrows; the rambunctious ‘Wet Blanket’ had myself, and the feverish crowd of young devotees, smiling like daft idiots; while short, sharp knockabout blasts like ‘What’s In Your Pocket?’ were skilfully laced into a set seemingly built around the idea of a gig being fun. What a novelty. With their refreshing slant on the best indie pop of old, combined with a brilliantly mischievous gang mentality, Evans The Death are on to something special.

Towards the end of their set, effervescent frontwoman Katherine Whitaker delivers the hopelessly devoted central mantra from one of their songs: “I’m not afraid of catching your cold”. From my position, hidden halfway behind a pillar, I do everything humanly possible to keep my groggy aura from interrupting the band, their fans, and an apparent trance-like effect. - Clash Magazine


Threads/I'm So Unclean AA side single (Fortuna Pop! September 2011) - John Kennedy's XFM Xposure Big One, Huw Stephens BBC Radio One

Telling Lies single (Slumberland, Fortuna Pop! March 2012) John Kennedy XFM, Huw Stephens BBC Radio One, Lauren Laverne, Gideon Coe, Chris Hawkins BBC 6Music

Evans the Death LP (Slumberland, Fortuna Pop! April/May 2012)

Expect Delays LP (Slumberland, Fortuna Pop! March/April 2015)

Enabler (single, Fortuna Pop! March 2015) John Kennedy (XFM), Shaun Keaveny record of the week, Chris Hawkins, Lauren Laverne, Gideon Cow (BBC 6Music) Phil Taggart, Huw Stephens (BBC Radio One)



Evans the Death released their second album Expect Delays in March 2015 via Fortuna POP! (Europe) and Slumberland (USA). Recorded again with producer Rory Atwell (Test Icicles, Warm Brains), the album bristles with an underlying tension and veers from rip-roaring noise to quiet contemplation, underpinned by Katherine Whitaker’s extraordinary voice.

Still barely out of their teens, there’s a tremendous sense across Expect Delays of a band coming in to their own, honing a plethora of influences to make a sound that is uniquely them. Each song on the album has a different feel to it: some of them are melodic and pretty; some of them heavy and dissonant; and some of them are, to quote guitarist Dan Moss, “a bit strange”. While retaining the post-punk and 90s alt-rock inspired elements that peppered their debut, the music is more expressive, heavier and more experimental, and the lyrics more nuanced, the sense of despair leavened by sharp wordplay and humour.

The unsettling undercurrent of melancholy and hopelessness that pervades the record has its roots in the last three years, spent eking out an existence on the poverty line in Cameron’s Britain. On the cusp of finishing school when their debut was released, the band rejected the opportunity of higher education in favour of focusing on music, a decision that backfired when the album failed to take off in the way they’d expected, leaving them with a succession of minimum wage jobs and unemployment benefits interviews. As guitarist Dan Moss relates, the album is about “being in London and feeling hopeless and a bit lost. Not having any money, relationships falling apart, things just not connecting or going anywhere and getting absolutely wasted all the time.”

Named after the undertaker in Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood, the band’s 2012 eponymous debut saw critical acclaim from the likes of Q, Uncut and Artrocker as well as radio play on BBC Radio 1, BBC 6Music and XFM. Following the departure of bassist Alanna McArdle to Joanna Gruesome and drummer Rob Mitson the band regrouped around the core of brothers Dan and Olly Moss and singer Katherine Whitaker for the recording of Expect Delays. Previously songwriting duties had been the preserve of the elder Moss brother, Dan, but with Olly now bringing his own songs to the table, the brothers resolved to switch between guitar and bass on a song-by-song basis. Drummer James Burkitt was recruited from Leeds’ band The ABC Club to complete a new lean and taut four-piece.

More ambitious and focused than their previous record, whilst sacrificing none of their spontaneity and vitality, Expect Delays is a supremely inventive and intelligently crafted album from a band who have suffered for their art, and used that experience to inform and nourish their work. Expect no more delays, Evans The Death have arrived.

"A beautiful exorcism of weird noise pop." NME 8/10

"A veritable success...the difficult second album never sounded so effortlessly good." The Line Of Best Fit 8.5/10

"Expect Delays is sensational; a beguiling enigma, as street-tough as it is sophisticated." The Skinny 4/5

"The grittier end of post punk and fuzzed-up 90s alt. rock... bruised vitality and pleasing lyrical spikiness." Uncut

Band Members