Seattle-based The Young Evils infuse their dark alt-rock with crunchy garage-rock riffs, ’60s-inspired boy-girl harmonies, and spacious choruses that sound like a serene retreat from surrounding verses, often more ominous in tone with quicker intensity. “Darker Blue Bayou” showcases this well; Troy Nelson’s nasally vocals lead a gritty rhythm-led verse, and the subsequent entry of Mackenzie Mercer’s more angelic tone is properly assisted by wiry guitar fills. Its chorus presents a brighter, more anthemic approach that reminds of Stars. Mercer’s delivery is reminiscent of Amy Milan’s, and the backing band’s tight transitions between contrasting spectra of guitar-pop provides similarly apt accommodations.
Another notable effort on their new EP, Foreign Smells, is “Dead Animals”. “Dead animals is what we’ll become,” the two sing on the track, over a warm buzz of distortion with a sharp jangly undercurrent. It represents the band’s gloomy darkness, but one with a dash of wry humor that breaks through compositions that are ominous at times, and joyously realistic at others.