Passages From Bible Universe/Passages To Bible Universe
Jon Rogers has always been concerned with the big questions. Among his favorite topics are urban alienation, paranoia, love—and ultimately—religion. But until Everything, Now!’s latest release of demos, Bible Universe, Rogers has never fully confronted the latter.
The Bible Universe demos, released by Everything, Now! through Indiana bootleg collectors Musical Family Tree, sees Rogers confronting those issues head on, as opposed to contemplating them with just a cursory glance.
The demos serve as a glimpse into a band in transition. The band recorded on the demos isn’t necessarily the band that exists today. Former members of the band who were present at the time of the recordings no longer play in the band. Consistent with the band’s ever-shifting lineup is an ever-shifting artistic direction. This change is natural, but it must make recording an album difficult.
The Bible Universe demos opens up with "Exile in Bible Universe," a rollicking song with classic Everything, Now! tempo changes and T-Rex to Bowie transitions. Featuring a vocal chorus of "ooh wah wah wah's" and propulsive drumming from Erick Sherman, the track would be a suitable opener for any album.
"Freedom Sex with Bible Women" follows the opener, and immediately makes its presence known. It has all the trademarks of classic Jon Rogers songwriting—the opulent choruses, the themes of sexual aggression and religious uncertainty, and an immense wall of sound that on repeated listens only enhances the song. Easily the best track on the album, “Freedom Sex with Bible Woman” opens with a bouncing piano into before segueing into an arching, shimmering Bowie-esque exit. “Freedom Sex” is everything that makes this band so great.
The two other demos available—“Searching for the Invisible Man” and “Uncle Kerry U”—are equally energetic and explosive. While “Searching for the Invisible Man” never really gets off of the ground, “Uncle Kerry U” is a driving, bouncing song with a great bass line and another one of those fantastic outros that made “Fishbowl Prank” so great in their 2005 release, POLICE, POLICE.
Overall, the Bible Universe demos offer an enjoyable glimpse into the possibilities of Everything, Now!’s forthcoming release. The production—there really isn’t any—tends to mute the beeps, whistles, and whirrs that generally populate Everything, Now!’s songs and the bass tends to overpower the rest of the recordings.
In terms of demos, this is an enjoyable package. The most exciting aspect of the Bible Universe demos is the promise they offer: Four good songs that given the kind of production on Everything, Now!’s previous recordings, could be great.
And that’s exactly what these demos are: a sketch of a band in transition, where they will go and who they will be. These are just demos, and the cracks are visible. An entire album with this production and these songs wouldn’t work and would probably be viewed as a failure. But as far as demos go, this is a good start.
Release date: May 2006
Rating: 7.9 / 10
On the web: http://www.everythingnowmusic.com
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