Almost Home review by Evergreen Terrace

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  • Released: Sep 29, 2009
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 8 (18 votes)
Evergreen Terrace: Almost Home

Sound — 8
Evergreen Terrace has delivered a sleek-sounding new CD that is accentuated by the band's chosen recording setup. For Almost Home, the Jacksonville-based band opted to record the vocals and instrumentation in two separate places, and you can certainly detect some novel, unique choices in the mix. The layers and textures heard on Almost Home are worthy of listening through headphones, if only because all of the little nuances that are occurring in the recording could easily be missed otherwise. As usual the album does find a fairly decent balance between melody and aggression, and fans should be content with the latest material. There is never one aspect/member that hogs the spotlight, and that's certainly to the band's credit. Although guitarists Josh James and Craig Chaney deliver intriguing riffs and solos on the album, they are sporadic enough that they never become commonplace. Enemy Sex, We're Always Losing Blood, and I'm A Bulletproof Tiger are key standouts in terms of riffage and interesting guitar lines happening underneath the vocals. At one moment in the record, there is also somewhat of a System of a Down-like approach to the strumming. It should be mentioned that the guitar tones and effects are key in creating the mood, and Evergreen Terrace excels in this area whether it's the sonic sound of Hopelessly Hopeless or the crunch of God Rocky, Is This Your Face. Again, it does seem like this was a highly layered album, and Evergreen Terrace has created some truly memorable moments because of the overlapping guitar parts. Craig Chaney and Andrew Carey still take turns with the melodic vocals and straightforward screaming respectively, and for the most part it's executed successfully. Evergreen Terrace does, however, sound more at home when they don't even bother adding in more of a pop vibe to the mix. At about 2 minutes long, The Letdown is a prime example of how the band packs a punch with simple aggression. Furious from start to finish, that particular track also highlights the band's creativity in the studio. Even though it's a short tune in length, The Letdown features a cool echo effect that was attached to the vocals and makes for a fairly dramatic end. It's subtle, however, and you'll probably need to listen through headphones or earbuds to get the full effect.

Lyrics — 7
Evergreen Terrace has a fondness for pop culture references, and Almost Home is no exception. Between the play on 80's music in Mario Speedwagon or the cringe-worthy reference from the film Mask (God Rocky, Is This Your Face), Evergreen Terrace hasn't disappointed in its usual shtick. Granted, the lyrics behind the clever titles aren't always quite as witty, but at least they know how to lure you in.

Overall Impression — 8
Although Evergreen Terrace hasn't necessarily created a groundbreaking recording, they still have a knack for balancing catchy choruses, brutal breakdowns, and the always-welcome double bass pedal. At times the melodic singing and screaming do work against each other (Sending Signals), but the band usually allows one or the other to take the forefront and lead the way. Considering that the best tracks on Almost Home were also basically devoid of singing, Evergreen Terrace might want to consider embracing their aggressive side more often.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    A Rolling Stone wrote: Named after the place in the Simpsons?!
    yes it is.
    Sorry to disagree with these guys above me, but I think Wolfbiker was way better. Maybe it's just because that was the first album I had from them, but Almost Home didn't catch me like Wolfbiker did. It didn't surprise me, it sounds too previsible, like it lacked some "magic". I recommend you guys go to an Evergreen Terrace show. They don't sound like in the CD, but they manage to put a very energetic show. Also, I don't know if the drummer made full-recover from the serious accident he had; if he's still in the hospital, make a small donation for him, the surgery was awfully expensive.
    they are amazzzzing live. good dudes too. butters is all better. i donated and got a hand written thank you card in the mail.
    i agree with elgranmapache, this album was solid but it lacked the magic wolfbiker had. very solid however.
    Shredder Guitar
    these guys put on such a great show. saw em with oceano, for today, stick to your guns, and emmure. haven't heard this, probably need to. they're amazing.
    These guys are awesome, they are one of those bands that has all the records to show their own growth in musicality. They turned from being just another jamming hardcore garage band (even though you can totally hear their potential from their first album), to a really awesome group writing some of the most heavy and creative materials. I love how these guys are so modest about their past (they always do a lot of self-bashing when you mention them about their older albums lol), yet are now *way* better. People who said this wasn't as good as wolfbiker most likely weren't paying attention to the album. Wolfbiker was obviously aimed to be themed as the heaviest album, and the smartest move made by ET. Almost Home does the same thing by featuring them doing what they do best: Making heavy metalcore/punk beats (that ain't rehashed breakdowns lol), showcase their own creativity, and even put out a few technical things like a few attractive riffs hooks and more intricate solos that just leaves one who've known about them since their humble beginnings laugh in joy for them lol
    this is one of the first bands that i ever listened to that got me in to metalcore/hardcore. They never were a "punk" band. however, their hometown was full of punk bands that they admit to having influences from. These guys are also great to see live. They always come out and hang with the crowd after. They are really nice people too. Easy to talk to and very friendly. To me, I will support them just because of the way they carry themselves. They may be somewhat popular, but they don't act like rock stars by any means.