Postpartum Modesty: A Portrait of Skin

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Don't be fooled by the sticker gracing the front of Postpartum Modesty. A Portrait of Skin that publicizes Evaline's appearance on the entire 2006 Warped Tour run. The California-based quintet, after all, is a far cry from the typical pop-punk or screamo band that will surely come to mind. The band's youth and singer Richard Jonathan Perry's strong yet fairly emo-like delivery are about the only things lumping these guys into the Warped crowd -- and maybe the fact that the Used's Quinn Allman produces Postpartum and Warped mastermind Kevin Lyman co-manages the band. On their Maverick debut EP, Evaline takes an especially lush approach on the emo-rock formula, aiming high for a rather grand and ethereal display of multiple sonic layers. The band seems to grab sporadic influence from the likes of U2, but quasi-channels it through acts such as Keane or Muse. Mix Moneen with a hearty dose of Coldplay-esque dramatics and you're somewhat close -- but not really. Excellent lead track "La De Da" opens sparsely enough before airy background vocals surface as the rest of the band plugs in to enter the exuberant fray, while "Calm Touching" escalates to be the exact opposite of its title with its repetition of "Don't we all die alone?" Evaline concentrates on swirling guitars and crashing rhythms in some tracks ("Write Your Pretentious Squalls [Off Again]" has fleeting moments of Taking Back Sunday), but then makes aggressive use of prodding piano parts in other songs, as in the standout "Postpartum Modesty." The six-song EP plays as an unexpectedly enjoyable listen, but despite its grandiose histrionics, a slight feeling of sameness is left lingering at the end. With patience and repeated listens, however, this fact manages to eventually take a backseat to auditory satisfaction. Overall, the sweeping EP bodes very well for the band's future; let's just hope its title isn't further expanded upon in an eventual full-length of total pretension and indulgence.

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