This may not be the same Everclear you remember from the late '90s and the turn of the century. Former band members moved on to individual projects, so Art Alexakis put together a new group of players and moved from Capitol to an Independent label, Eleven Music, to return to the indie sound the band was once known for. The desired result was achieved. Going back to that root sound, Welcome to the Drama Club arrived on store's shelves September 12.
The subject matter is somewhat heavy, you don't have to look any further than the first single, "Hater," about break-ups to see just how heavy; the melodies, however are not all dark. They are reminiscent of songs from the previous album, Slow Motion Daydream, and its single "Volvo Driving Soccer Mom."
It still has a sharp edge; there is nothing pop about "Hater." The riffing guitars and rocking beat back the cut-to-the bone lyrics describing the pain and desolation that come with the end of a relationship. Alexakis has never denied he writes his music from a deep personal place, and the singer-songwriter is familiar with the emotions having lived through three divorces and a recent bankruptcy.
The majority of the album is akin to a bitter pill Alexakis is trying to swallow. "A Shameless Use Of Charm," about a dysfunctional couple, is another grunge rock-styled song with a bit of a blues guitar tossed in. It's a standout track and a good example of why, though Everclear may stray from the public eye from time to time, they are not forgotten. "Portland Rain" is in the same vein. The moody whine of the lead vocals coupled with the moan of the guitar delivers the depressing plea of the genre, and lyrical message.