Having recently listened to—no, experienced—the new album by Los Angeles-based band The Evangenitals, I must say, in terms of this strictly themed collection of songs, they did indeed get it right… More than the lyrical content and overall subject matter, this is more to do with the sound, or sounds, which are comprised of manic, diverse, unusual and creative songwriting and delivery at its best. In this way, the songs on the new Evangenitals album go through eclectic shifts—soaring strings and haunting vocal masterpieces, avant-folk and alt-country, gypsy punk and organic jazz, rootsy pickers, electro new wave weirdness and seafaring blues, and more.A literary theme full of nautical references, adventure, triumph and failure, life and death, and so on, comes from the pages written by Herman Melville…hence the title of The Evangenitals’ album, Moby Dick. This album doesn’t simply tip its hat to the old tale; it also proves itself seven times over an impressive marriage of fiercely original and free songwriting and absorbing story conveyances. And while it is hard to not be equally fond of every song on the Moby Dick album, the standout songs are decidedly “Ahab’s Leg,” “The Sermon,” the title track, and “Quee Queg.”The Evangenitals project was founded by playwright/director Juli Crockett and opera, jazz and gospel singer Lisa Dee, both of whose vocational influences are very evident in the band’s songs. What’s more, the members of The Evangenitals clearly have a strong chemistry and mutual need to bridge genre gaps and crumble musical boundaries. And, as such, they have put together a truly extraordinary effort that will undoubtedly prove timeless and widely appreciated.
I was instantly drawn to The Evangenitals for the obvious reason that they have the coolest band name I have seen. And then I heard them, and I found even greater reason to love them. The band refers to their style of music as Avant-Appalachian Pirate-jazz, which I guess works. I find that when it is too hard to categorize a band, there is probably a damn good reason for it. And this is a band the blends just the perfect amount of weird and talent. Their sound is unique, without being too disturbing.On the band’s first release from Fluff and Gravy records, Moby Dick (or, The Album), we get a fine taste of the perfectly peculiar styling that makes The Evangenitals a real gift to the indie music world. To say the very least about this wonderful album would be to say that it is the strangest interpretation of Melville you will ever hear. To say the very most, it is a real delight. The surreal and fascinating tone of a song like “Shipwreck Blues” is just one example of why The Evangenitals may be one of the finest Americana-ish groups out there today, and why should all be paying attention to songwriter Juli Crockett and her beautiful band of merry men/women.
There are certain types of albums that are the most fulfilling to review. They’re career overview “Best Of” retrospectives where a band or artist is summing up a life’s work in a single place. These types of CDs might be released by the musicians themselves when they’re older and looking back or post-mortem by a label when an artist dies. This isn’t one of those CDs. It’s the other type, the second best type of cd to review, but also the most satisfying for the artist and their fans. It’s the Obsession release, and it’s often a theme-encompassing opus.
God, I love this album in all its resplendent Americana country soul crazy glory...
Whenever I’ve been asked what my favorite Evangenitals song is, I’ve always responded, “The Lee Shore.” It’s an incredible song, a wonderful journey, with peaks and valleys. It’s a song you can really get immersed in, a song that can possess you if you let it. And you should let it. When the band really nails it, there is little that is better, and it has often been a highlight of their live shows.
This is fun, freedom, and freak folk all delivered with a huge capital ‘F’
What the hell kind of church service is this?
God, I love this album... resplendent Americana country soul crazy...
The Evangenital brand of sound grew up in a hippie commune that went to hoedowns on the weekends, and it’s got a great sense of humor. The septet tends towards the rowdy, and spinning might be the most appropriate dance move. Well, spinning mixed with stomping.
“... manic, diverse, unusual and creative songwriting and delivery at its best. This album doesn’t simply tip its hat to the old tale; it also proves itself seven times over an impressive marriage of fiercely original and free songwriting and absorbing story conveyances.”
The female harmonies between Juli Crockett and Lisa Dee are like the Andrews Sisters re-imagined as tragic mermaids–I haven’t heard harmonies ring this good since the Chapin Sisters were on the scene.
Evangenitals are unconventional, creative risk-takers who are - at times - too much to take, yet too gutsy to be ignored. I hope these underground bohemian diamonds stay true to themselves; they should never be tampered with.
Although I agree their sound may be described as alt-country, I would further call it a California based Americana with lots of blues and folk moves within a structure that easily glides into an indie-rock format. So basically, this band could play with about 90% of the bands touring America these days.
They killed it with their female-Johnny Cash influenced folk-rock.
Their sound is a chimera of American music, a blend of country, bluegrass, jazz and rock, with soulfondling lyrics, which might leave your skin wet from dancing and your eyes dripping tears of joy all in the same evening.
had me thinking a female Old 97’s
At first listen, [Crockett’s] vocals call to mind other notable altos like Cher, Grace Slick, and flannel-clad lesbian grunge pop extraordinaire, Linda Perry. Crockett’s sound is low, smooth and profound.
entrancing strains of rootsy Americana pop
Los Angeles musical gypsies the Evangenitals are either a deliriously obtuse experiment in musical realism, the outgrowth of serious medicative therapy or the benign side effects from a misspent youth. I am voting for all-of-the-above.
If you get a chance to see these gals you’d be a fool not to. They put on one of the best parties you can go to. Great crowd, good music and a sure-fire fun time. I’m a believer...
Transports you back to a time when the music came from front porches and folk gatherings that allowed for the songwriting to take center stage.
We’re talking about alt-country at its finest, but that’s only the start. Influences of Southern rock, cow punk and even a little klezmer pop make a tasty brew.
The band name alone grabbed me by the ovaries and did a little do-si-do with my uterus. Little did I know that clicking the ‘play’ button was going to throw me into a spasticated hoe-down. The harmonies are ace, the instrumentation is brilliant and the lyrics are (pickin’and a) grinnin’ fuel.
The Evangenitals are a folk rock band best taken with a whiskey neat. The mishmash of styles and eccentric personalities makes for an entertaining night filled with spontaneous sing-alongs, hearty laughs and masterclasses in guitar, upright bass, and drums.
The Evangenitals. Not only do they win best band name, they’re pretty darn cute in a pop/twang sorta way... The Evangenitals. I just want to say that name over and over again.