Get Evens album cover
Get Evens

The Evens

Dischord Records

Dischord’s early catalog helped to define what American punk rock would look and sound like, but 20-some years on, the label was reminding fans that punk is ultimately a stance, not a style. Case in point: The Evens, whose intimate, almost folklike songs conveyed every bit as much raw defiance as the blistering tirades found on, say, Flex Your Head. The duo of Ian MacKaye and drummer Amy Farina — who had made her Dischord debut in the Warmers, a spare, garage-y mid-’90s trio that also featured Alec MacKaye — debuted during the George W. Bush years, yet the political and social critique found on their excellent second album feels strikingly contemporary. For example, see the duo’s shared refrains of “Washington is our city” and “Everybody knows you are a liar” on “Everybody Knows,” and “What more can we give you?” in surveillance-state lament “All You Find You Keep.” As compelling as their message is, the revelation here is the pair’s sonic chemistry: how MacKaye, playing baritone guitar here, and Farina settle into a sly, fluttering groove; how the pair trade lead vocals with conversational ease; and how Farina’s crisp beats help highlight MacKaye’s way with a low-key earworm, on display throughout his catalog but never sharper than on Get Evens songs like “Cut From the Cloth."

Hank Shteamer

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