|Photography by Jason Watts, from the Devious Means Facebook page.|The Devious Means
Songs We All Are Singing
We here at the Weekly
have covered the Devious Means
a few times -- here's a short introduction from a few months back
-- though it seems we're a little late with an actual review of their second EP, which appeared back in March. Forgive us for the slight delay, sometimes we blink and miss things -- but then again, isn't the sign of a good release something that holds up after its first appearance, especially in this day and age? Also, given their show tonight at the Slidebar -- which, according to a post on their blog
, is the final show of guitarist Andrew Faris
-- it's only right to take a closer look.
The group, driven in large part by the twin vocal dynamic of guitarist Christopher Faris and keyboardist Rachel Anderson, are still finding their own sound on Songs We All Are Singing, but compared to some bands who never quite move beyond well-meaning mimicry, that's already a good sign. Certainly, there's plenty here that can come across as near stereotypical big-sounding 21st century indie rock, common enough in a time where even small acts can easily sound like they're constantly filling arenas thanks to good production. However, the fact that the EP ends with a ukelele-led duet in "Good Company" seems like an apt choice.
Still, there's something unexpected about the band that's pretty attractive -- starting off with a pretty open Ennio Morricone rip in "The Song With No Name" is a nice touch, while "Shake" steps aside from being Yet Another Arcade Fire Knockoff by sounding even more melodramatic and unhinged, and more aggressively unsettled. The album has a few other twists and turns, like the cheery synth hook of "Making Eyes" and the calm -- but still just a touch tense -- "Problematic." Speaking of problematic, while we're happy the band has gotten far enough to put out an album we can still get our hands on, the obvious question is, especially with Andrew Faris's departure, what comes next?