Black Is The New Black
The End Records/ADA

Art Alexakis has taken Everclear back to their classic sound for their ninth album, and as aficionados of the band will know, that means heavy riffing indie rock underpinning tales of drug damage and darkness of the soul, with just the right amount of hope shining through the black.
Almost 20 years to the day (May 23) on from the release of their seminal Sparkle & Fade album, the secret of Everclear’s success remains in Alexakis’ songwriting, especially his fascinating lyrics. To quote a follower on his Twitter feed, the singer ‘puts into words what most people cannot see’.
The Man Who Broke His Own Heart sounds like Alexakis is still trying to make amends for the sins of his addicted youth, while American Monster is a modern horror story of a bad person doing horrible things. It’s gripping listening and so insightful, like being riveted to a fascinating news story.
Not entirely autobiographical, Alexakis has the ability to inhabit his characters as insightfully as he taps into his own past, and songs like You, about an abused child struggling with the emotional fallout of the horrors inflicted upon them, are completely believable, shocking, and somehow still relevant to all of our lives.
It’s the glimmer of hope that Alexakis shines into the darkness of his songs that make them resonate with so many people – who of us haven’t felt we were ‘simple and plain’ (Simple & Plain), and longed to hear the affirmation that we don’t need to ever change? Or that when we’re going through bad times, that Anything Is Better Than This. There’s a light at the end of every pitch black tunnel, Alexakis shows us.