“King of Kings”
The likelihood of hearing another new Fugazi album grows increasingly unlikely by the year, but for a while, it seemed almost as unlikely to hear another new album from Ian MacKaye and domestic partner Amy Farina as The Evens. It has been six years since the release of Get Evens, which might be due to the two having their first child together — but the benefit of such a partnership is being able to pick up again without missing a beat.
Such is the case on third album The Odds, a characteristically pop-friendly set of guitar tunes that leans on MacKaye’s signature baritone strum. Much in the same vein as the band’s last two albums, the relative lack of distortion and Farina’s soothing vocals give the impression of The Odds being a low-key affair, but it’s more like a punk record in pop clothing. On just the second track, “Wanted Criminals,” MacKaye offers searing rancor like “Everybody’s got their badges / but they’ve got no one to apprehend!” And atop the deep grooves of “Architects Sleep,” MacKaye and Farina aim their barbs at hollow authority figures: “It all falls down behind the illusion / and the architects lay awake trying to forget all their mistakes.”
The Odds doesn’t get too loud, but after a fairly substantial absence, it’s comforting to hear that the duo is as caustic as ever.