In the timeless battle between good and evil, good often triumphs. But as we grow up, we learn that there are times when evil wins. Such is the case in the current Seattle indie scene, where the current winning act is evil. Or, to be more precise, The Young Evils. And in the case of this band, we find ourselves in the position of cheering for evil.
The band was founded by Troy Nelson (guitar/songwriter/lead male vocals) and Mackenzie Mercer (female vocals), who met working in Seattle's Easy Street Records. Cody Hurd was in the band near the beginning as well. In 2010, they released Enchanted Chapel, a delightfully good debut LP full of energetic guitar pop and well-crafted ballads that cracked my list of top 20 albums for the year. They are back, now as a five piece, with the four-track EP Foreign Spells.
Like its predecessor, Foreign Spells features fast paced songs with male/female vocals that sometimes are sung in unison and sometimes dueling. However, for this release Troy's songs have a more complexity and a far darker shade, and the band's sonic palette is fuller. They aren't yet in The Raveonettes territory in terms of sound and style, but they are discernible distance closer than they were two years ago. And it should be noted that while Mercer's vocals were a standout on Enchanted Chapel, her gifts are even better showcased in her boyfriend's current set of songs.
Here is the single, and probably the best track -- "Young Animals" --
In addition to Troy Nelson and Mackenzie Mercer, The Young Evils are Cody Hurd (guitar), Michael Lee (bass), and Eric Wennberg (drums). Faustine Hudson played the drums on the EP. The band's performance on the EP is tight and confident, and I think that Foreign Spells will serve as an excellent springboard for their continued development.
If you can't find a physical copy, or just like the digital route, Foreign Spells is priced to move on Amazon and Bandcamp.
You can stream the entire EP on the Bandcamp link below.
By the way, the busy Mr. Nelson also is a DJ at Seattle's influential KEXP (web listening link here), where he holds down the Friday 9pm to Saturday 1am slot and subs in the mornings for John Richards from time to time.
Twitter ( @TheYoungEvils )