Evergreen Terrace

Evergreen Terrace

Writer’s Block


Music Industry Axiom #14: Cover albums suck. It’s true, I swear. As much as you love seeing your favorite band do a cover during a live show, it usually translates to pure, unadulterated suck when included on a release. But the aptly titled Writer’s Block isn’t your run of the mill cover album, it’s a cover album with a twist: It’s also an Evergreen Terrace album.

On their last outing, 2002’s Burned Alive By Time, the Florida melodic hardcore machine muscled out an album that was practically a tutorial for how similarly minded bands should sound. Although not terribly original in their style, the execution was as near perfect as bands of this ilk get. Beautiful melodic choruses, vicious breakdowns, great production and a playful sense of humor (song titles include “Dear Live Journal” and “No Donnie, These Men Are Nihilists”) helped the band get some much-deserved attention. They certainly didn’t break any new ground like their counterparts Poison The Well and Hopesfall, but they did manage to put out one of the most consistent and listenable albums in the entire genre that year.

Also, for those of us who were patient enough to wait for it, there was a surprise bonus track at the end of the album, a brutal cover of Depeche Mode’s classic “Enjoy the Silence.” Not what I would have expected at all, it sounded like the source material had been borrowed from Anthrax instead of Dave Gahan and friends. Of course, you groan, just wonderful. But no, unlike so many metal covers of non-metal source material, it was oddly tasteful. The reinvention of the song sounded so effortless that if you hadn’t known any better, you probably would have believed that they’d written it in the first place. Seriously.

So here we’ve got an entire album full of this type of material. And although the lack of almost any original material (only one new song is included) makes it feel a little bit lifeless, it’s still a fun game to see how the band has managed to mutate the songs they’ve chosen to include. For the most part, they’re pretty good.

Covers of The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Zero,” Operation Ivy’s oft-covered “Knowledge,” and Sponge’s “Plowed” really aren’t that far from the originals, and the Hum cover is just a little disappointing (I confess to being a little biased here). But their renditions of Tears For Fears’ heart wrenching “Mad World” and U2’s classic “Sunday Bloody Sunday” are damn good, providing proof that Evergreen Terrace can insert a bludgeoning hardcore breakdown or two into even the most unlikely of places and make it feel entirely organic. Of course, there’s also a downright bizarre musical mutation of Michael Sembello’s all-but-forgotten 1980s hit “Maniac.” As funny as it sounds, it’s probably the best track on the entire album.

Writer’s Block is an album that will probably get heard by more kids downloading “MaNiAc (Metallica Cover)” off Gnutella than those shelling out cash to buy one of the few copies of the CD shipped to their local record store. And that’s unfortunate. But it’s all for fun, which I guess is the whole point. On the back cover of the album, the band explains: “We know this isn’t our new album. This is just a bunch of covers we suckered Eulogy into putting out … Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.” Apology accepted guys, roll deep with the Square Pants.

Eulogy Recordings: www.eulogyrecordings.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • The Reading Room
    The Reading Room

    Today’s episode features author Anna-Marie O’Brien talking about her book Adventures of a Metalhead Librarian: A Rock N’ Roll Memoir with Ink 19’s Rose Petralia.

  • Bush Tetras
    Bush Tetras

    Rhythm and Paranoia (Wharf Cat). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Tom Tom Club
    Tom Tom Club

    The Good The Bad and the Funky (Nacional). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Barnes & Barnes
    Barnes & Barnes

    Pancake Dream (Demented Punk Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

  • Araceli Lemos
    Araceli Lemos

    Shortly after AFI Fest 2021 wrapped, Generoso spoke at length with director, Araceli Lemos about her award-winning and potent feature debut, Holy Emy. Lemos’s film uses elements of body horror in her story about the exoticization of two Filipina sisters living in Greece and how that exploitation creates a distance between them.

  • Southern Accents 55
    Southern Accents 55

    A woofin’ good time with cuts from Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Delta Moon and more from KMRD 96.9, Madrid, New Mexico!

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Absurdism with a healthy dose of air conditioning.

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

From the Archives