Eaves by Forever HouseRelease date: November 9, 2018
Label: Ifrequent Seams
So what do you get when you combine musicians that played mostly avant-garde jazz and modern classical music on the ever-changing New York Scene? A quartet that, as they say, plays “Sloppy-math/avant-grunge”! Not sure what that is supposed to sound like, but to these ears, it sure sounds like a great combination of Yo La Tengo and Modest Mouse at their most nervous and a few other things in-between, like… avant-garde jazz and modern classical filtered through rock.
In essence, that is the sound of Eaves, the debut album by Forever House, yet another Brooklyn product that combines front person Meaghan Burke (vocals and cello), guitarist James Moore and a rhythm section of James Ilgenfrtz (bass) and Pete Wise (drums). What we get is another dystopian vision concentrated on your every day poppy stuff like surveillance state and entitled white men.
The music is at the same time equally nervy (‘Spiders’) and catchy (‘Doppelganger’) at the same time, that can often truly evoke the dystopian atmosphere it goes for (‘Saints’). The group members obviously have quite a solid background in playing any music they wish too (probably including birthdays and weddings), which becomes evident from the moment the opening title ‘Freak Show’ kicks in. And while the compositions and playing are exemplary, it is Burke’s vocals that are a standout as they hover over the melodies (there are some of those here too), completing the grey haze of the atmosphere the music creates.
What creates an even better effect is the fact that Forever House recorded the album as a “live in the studio” affair, with minimal overdubs, not only showing their exemplary playing but creating a tight, in-your-face effect it deserves. With Eaves, Forever House, who comes from a different musical background, have shown many aspiring rockers what math-rock/prog rock, or whatever you want to pigeonhole your music into, should sound like.