EVENS, THE: The Odds: CD

The third Evens record, after a gap of more than a couple years, finds the duo of guitarist/vocalist Ian MacKaye and drummer/vocalist Amy Farina continuing to explore the sound they developed on their first two records The Evens (2005), and Get Even (2006). For all the simplicity of their formula, only two instruments and their voices, there is a great deal of power in every Evens song. The two share vocal duties, moving back and forth between trading off vocal parts and frequently harmonizing. These harmonized parts are great because they achieve a depth of sound neither vocalist achieves alone. The scream-singing MacKaye developed over the years with Fugazi are here, but he also shows a more melodic range. Farina’s voice is as smooth as her drumming, and the Evens songs flow without pauses or disjointed transitions. Both musicians have been honing their songwriting craft for decades, and as a duo, their craft is at its peak on The Odds. Each song is tightly constructed, both musically and lyrically. Even on slow and meandering tracks like “I Do Myself,” there is not a single moment that made me lose interest or want to skip to the next track. While I appreciated the first two Evens records, this one is definitely my favorite so far.

 –Paul J. Comeau (Dischord)