It was little over fifteen years ago when Seattle grunge rockers Nirvana changed the world of rock music. Their rock anthem, “Smells like Teen Spirit”, signaled the death of both glam and heavy metal with the groups’ woefully cynical lyrics and powerful take on three chord rock music.
Now there’s a resurgence of bubblegum, the sweet, innocent rock which features a virtual love fest full of all things sweet and innocent. It’s the kind of music your parents hope you’re listening to while taking doses of Ritalin and Prozac and memorizing abstinence vows.
Everybody Else is the newest group forging this genre, and their self titled debut is a particularly chewy, gooey example, harkening back to the sounds of ‘60’s bands the group is too young to remember.
If Nirvana made its reputation by pushing out the inside of rock’s tiny musical envelope, Everybody Else’s sound keeps that envelope firmly in tact for the Disney set. Vocalist Carrick Gerety uses a plaintive whine through much of the album, never straying too far from the main harmony. Gerety’s guitar is similarly generic, with no chops, no virtuosity, just endless rhythm. Bassist Austin Williams and drummer Mikey McCormack pound out an utterly danceable four/four beat, but I have a feeling the only dance this album will be heard at are father/daughter ‘purity balls’. Musically, the group sounds a tad like very, very early Beatles (“I Wanna Hold Your Hand” early) and the nearly extinct 1910 Fruit Gum Company. If Tony Orlando needs an opening act for upcoming shows in Laughlin, Nevada, Everybody Else should definitely audition for the slot.
Everybody Else provides a perfect soundtrack for virginal tweeny girls, whose deepest concerns are whether their latest fantasy cutey-boy will attempt to slide his hand underneath her training bra in the midst of an adolescent wet-dream. It’s all “I love you. I can’t live without you. You’re the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me and now that you’re gone I’m feeling so blue," kind of schmaltz. There’s nothing wrong with this kind of thing, but ultimately, it’s disposable, as listeners grow up and face the real world.