CD Rock Review

Stephen EvENS: Is He Bothered? Well…

Title: Bonjour Poulet

Label: Onomatopeia

When I read that EvENS had had a brief association with the Cardiacs the first track made more sense. The synth line has that band written all over it, even if the song is not jagged and jerky. Only EvENS’ thoughts qualify for that (as does the font style of his name).

There is a quality of his work, his presentation and delivery. It reminds me of the downturn to the initial punk movement in 76/77. When it became a commercial thing and novelty entered into the fray, much to the chagrin of the serious punk members.

There was a certain artist. Suited, spiky haired, very wide eyed, holding the mic close to the mouth which was wide open and, despite the pose, was far from being aggressive. Not a figure of fun, either. Someone that prompted a smile. Like Jilted John, perhaps? There’s a streak of Jilted John in EvENS. I’m not demeaning Stephen, but he probably deserves to be mothered. And his creativity has a slightly eccentric aspect.

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His articulate, slightly geeky, small minded (in a nice way), slightly introverted (also in a nice way) approach to his songs are enhanced by the basic approach to their arrangements. You’ve got a voice (sometimes with female backing: actually Caroline Cheshire), noisy guitar and synth runs/effects that provide atmosphere and variation. It’s pleasantly ragged

It was at this point that I studied the CD sleeve. And there he was, pictured and looking ever so slightly pissed off. Looking, in fact, slightly insolent and slight aggrieved. And bothered. Unlike Catherine Tate’s character, Stephen is bothered. He is bothered quite a lot. And maybe that’s what I’m hearing the songs with titles like Evil Twin, My Sister and High Horse. I can imagine EvENS giving you chapter and verse on his favourite aggravation that lasts right through your grande latte.

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