E(v)olocity's self-titled release fits pretty squarely in the "bands that sound like other bands" category, adding just a little edge to the 3 Doors Down style. Still, it's a lot of fun.
Indeed, the band has put together a very solid collection of melodic hard rock tracks. "Too Far" has loads of energy, and "Duh Wayne" adds a tinge of funk. The bass line to "Cockeyed" just plain slams, and "Dog Lover" oozes with attitude. "Pyramids" is probably the most accomplished piece, with layers of music working together without crowding each other out.
The lyrics top most in current rock, with gems like "He's got a face only a mother could love / Reason enough to eat all of her young." They tackle more controversial topics than their musical template does, even including as a chorus "God please save me from your followers."
And the guitar playing is better than adequate, with each song taking on its own personality to the highest degree allowed within the 3 Doors Down mold. "Dark" even strays into a seemingly drug-induced atmosphere. Solos are few, far between and not quite stunning, however.
To top all that, E(v)olocity is perhaps the first CD to contain both the C-word and a sample from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer ("Herbie [Doesn't Like to Make Toys]").
Besides the obvious 3 Doors Down comparisons, E(v)olocity has few failures. The verses to "Quick and Easy" are uncatchy and by-the-book, but the chorus makes up for it.
Next time around, fans should hope for equal quality with a little more originality.
Robert VerBruggen (http://www.therationale.com) is an apprentice editor at The National Interest and an antiMusic contributor.