The Inside Pulse:
Everclear has been up and down in the past decade, from the Grammy-nominated So Much For the Afterglow to MIA status on top 40 radio. Back on the indie label Eleven Seven Music, Everclear presents with Welcome To the Drama Club, an album strongly recalling their popular, radio-friendly works. Vocalist Alex Alexakis writes stories with his lyrics, giving the listener a strong personal attachment if they can relate; combined with hooky pop rock, it’s a formula that proved profitable to the band in the past. But it’s not 1997 anymore; can Everclear be viable in a completely different musical arena?
Positives: The first answer to that question would be yes, when Everclear breaks out of the expected. Opening track “Under the Western Stars” doesn’t sound like the band’s old singles at all, yet it’s a masterpiece all its own. Less experimental but still fun is “A Taste of Hell,” and the downtempo “Broken” sounds pleasantly less formulaic.
Negatives: The second answer to that question is no, particularly if you’re not feeling nostalgic or have long since channeled into newer and different sounds. For crying out loud, “The Drama King” steals the verse rhythm structure of “Father of Mine” directly. Beyond that, nearly all of the remaining songs are interchangeable with anything the band has done before. How many times does the public want to hear the same thing? The last six years answer that.
Cross-breed: It’s Everclear. Didn’t you listen to the radio or watch MTV for even five minutes in 1995 through 1998?
Reason To Buy: If you’re a fan of the band in general or really enjoyed their hits and feel the desire to revisit, sure, it’s a perfectly pleasant album. But this isn’t going to spark any huge revival for the band.