For Fans Of
‘Neutral’ is a pretty accurate way of explaining one’s feelings when listening to Everyone Dies in Utah‘s new record, ‘Neutral Ground’. A dismal effort in every regard, this is about as mind-numbingly boring as it gets. There’s just nothing on offer here that the band does better than anyone else, and as such there’s very little reason to waste your time with it unless you’re a big fan.
This may be the band’s third full-length but the production quality is so low it might as well be their first. The levels are terrible and every synth and sound effect (of which there is an over-abundance) sounds like it came bundled with GarageBand. Guitars lack any kind of impact whatsoever, due to horrible distortion and even worse riffs. Overall, the whole package sounds unpolished, closer to demo quality than a final release.
Production value isn’t the only thing hindering ‘Neutral Ground’ however; the songwriting is of equally poor standard. Of particular note is the track, ‘The Story So Far’, a wishy-washy pop-flavoured endeavour that’s bursting with auto-tuned vocals and cliche lyrics. You know, the usual recycled garbage about not closing your eyes, living your life, finding yourself, and other vague lines that could’ve been written by a high schooler. The song even comes complete with sickening "yeahs" and "woahs".
The record leaves a lot to be desired in the vocal department as well. Frontman Danny Martinez‘s prowess as a singer is almost as weak as his lyrical content, especially when regarding his clean vocals. His tone is bland and his execution is very hit-and-miss (mostly miss). When they’re not being covered up with autotone it’s not hard to pick out all the fumbled notes and wavering pitch scattered here and there. Harsh vocals are better but hardly worth mentioning. They’re average at best, neither unique nor impressive.
In short, ‘Neutral Ground’ is as underwhelming as its name suggests. If you’re looking for an album with impact, this is definitely not it.
Unless you’re somehow already a massive fan of Everyone Dies in Utah, do not listen to this record. You will lament every second you spend being exposed to its crushing mediocrity and curse yourself for not paying attention when we warned you not to listen to it. Albums of this calibre may be passable as a first demo from back in 10th grade (and even then, only just), but not when it’s your third full-length. Seriously, don’t listen to it.
1. Neutral Ground
2. Infinity and Beyond
3. Fool Me Twice
4. The Story So Far
5. Land of 1,000 Kicks
6. Johnny Kewl
7. Light ‘em Up, Terrence Peterson
9. Item No. 9
10. The Shinies and the Shadows