Manchester art-pop heroes Everything Everything learn to let the light in on emphatically creative eleven track selection ‘Re-Animator’. The band’s fifth record, it dazzles in its creativity, moving past the global dystopia of 2015’s ‘Get To Heaven’, while tracing the personal touches that shadowed 2017’s Mercury nominated set ‘A Fever Dream’.
Bombastic opener ‘Lost Powers’ screams out of the stereo, with Jonathan Higgs’ superb falsetto notes intermingling with something a little more raw. Potent and literate, ‘Big Climb’ utilises layers of beatific pop, before culminating in that distraught plea: “I’m afraid they’re gonna kill us all...”
A record that is lean and taut while allowing for incredible breadth, ‘Re-Animator’ is driven by a real sense of purpose. ‘It Was A Monstering’ slices through ‘Kid A’ era Radiohead, illuminating the humane in the process, while the dappled synth pop of ‘Planets’ yearns towards zero gravity escapism in its melodic touch.
‘Arch Enemy’ finds the monstrous paranoia of 2020 shining through, but here the band are aiming more for directness. Refusing to pull their punches, Everything Everything’s gloves may be decorated in glitter, but there’s steel underneath – Jonathan Higgs practically spits out those words.
That’s not to suggest that ‘Re-Animator’ is a political record – at least, not in the same sense as ‘Get To Heaven’. Rather, it seems to concertina down the band’s best work - ‘In Birdsong’ is charming and beatific in its digi-pop experimentalism, while ‘Violent Sun’ finds each sense screaming outwards, a kind of melodic overload.
A record of sustained power, ‘Re-Animator’ manages to pull together many of the band’s finest elements, offering something complex yet accessible. A glittering parade of future-pop endeavour lit up by personal insight, Everything Everything charm by their openness – long may they continue.
Words: Robin Murray
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