Ian MacKaye fronted Minor Threat, one of the defining bands of hardcore punk, when he was barely out of high school. By the time that band ended after only a few short years, MacKaye was fed up with the increasingly dogmatic outlook of many hardcore bands and fans. As a response, he formed Fugazi, one of the architects of post-hardcore. In contrast to Minor Threat, Fugazi lasted for fifteen years before going on indefinite hiatus in 2003. Not content to just start another Fugazi, MacKaye formed The Evens that same year with his wife Amy Farina. Their third album The Odds is my first exposure to MacKaye’s current project, which could reasonably (if a bit ridiculously) be described as post-post-hardcore, basically the energy and style of Fugazi combined with acoustic instrumentation and a folk punk sensibility more than a little reminiscent of Against Me! Is Reinventing Axl Rose. MacKaye still has the same fire in his voice that he’s had for three decades, which is most evident on “Wasted Criminals.” However, most of the record is much more hushed and subdued and Farina handles lead vocals on over half of the record. “I Do Myself” is much more representative of The Evens’ style. Overall, I don’t think this is an amazing record, but it’s an interesting entry into MacKaye’s impressive career and a must have for his fans.
The Evens - "Broken Finger"