The late 1990s/early 2000s’ iteration of pop punk comes to mind when listening to Everlost’s EP The Hardest Thing to Say. Released in mid-September, this collection of five radio friendly songs featured the same range and emotions one associates with bands such as Yellowcard, Jimmy Eat World, and Fall Out Boy. Jared Kay’s voice, while clearly demonstrating strong singing skills, does not seem like the best in carrying the genre in the way it is currently used.
Perhaps this has to do with the fact that Kay is on vocals, guitars, bass, and drums, not benefiting from feedback from other band members that would contribute to increasing the quality of their work. There was also some lopsided sound engineering, which resulted in some sounds overwhelming at times the others. For example, the piano in “Rainfall”, which also adds a different layer of instrumentation to this pop punk track, distracts from the song at times, seemingly coming from somewhere else.
Despite this, The Hardest Thing to Say is worth a listen. The upbeat, guitar rock of “Rainfall” features a beautiful solo piano opening and an overall Jimmy Eat World feel. The vocals don’t come through enough, but otherwise the song flows well and drips with emotion and angst as a pop punk song typically does. “All We Need” and “I Just Don’t Know” are two other tracks on this EP of the same type.
The following “Music Box” starts unsurprisingly with a couple of notes played from a music box. The song has an overall Fall Out Boy feel, also captured in the third track “All We Need”, and, again, both flows well despite the vocals that seem suffocated and strained at times. The fourth track, the acoustic guitar-based “You Threw it All Away”, makes best use of Kay’s vocals.
There is bound to be something for all fans of pop punk and alternative rock on this EP, despite the fact that the band has a bit of work to do to gain a higher polish. Everlost has potential; following them will hopefully pay off with subsequent releases.
Pictures provided by Independent Music Promotions.