Envy on the Coast: The Impetuous Lowcountry

I’m afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning.
Andy Warhol
Lowcountry is a work of art born from spontaneous action. It is a common misconception that spontaneity (especially in music) derives from laziness, carelessness, or too much pot. This my friends is entirely wrong. After all, there is no such thing as too much pot! In a Youtube interview with lead vocalist, Ryan Hunter explained the band’s approach to recording their final album. There was no thinking involved while playing. Clearly a lot of thought went into this approach. It’s something that only experience can explain. By forbidding any form of processing during the recording stages, the members of EOTC relied solely on their subconscious and musical relationship. This daring approach truly allows the music to take control and grow its natural roots. Most well-known musicians concern themselves with radio standards, mass appeal, and easily digested song structures. Often times these concerns can sacrifice originality. Kiddos…let me introduce Lowcountry; an organic musical masterpiece.
I highly recommend this album to anyone who is looking for that fresh rock album that becomes your best friend. No matter what type of music you enjoy, a few key ingredients are crucial. The music needs to be catchy, relatable, real, and obtain some form of original substance to it. If an artist lacks these ingredients then they ain’t gonna stick for long! Luckily, Lowcountry has each of these substances cram packed into each song. It’s a frenzied, emotional journey from start to finish.
An enjoyable album is difficult to find. An album where an artist has created their own unique sound, and maintains that vibe throughout is nearly impossible. Lowcountry is the pearl for 2010. You have never heard anything like this. Vocalist, Ryan Hunter also recorded the drum tracks for the album. There is a lot to be said for this. The drums are all about pocket time, groove, and punch. Bassist, Jeremy Velardi adds tremendous depth to this powerful pulse. I’ll say it again (and you will understand when you listen) this album is all about groove! Much of todays rock music contains overbearing drum, and guitar parts. Often times I find myself listening to a band and the song will sound like a group of musicians competing for lead role. The instrumentals on Lowcountry are noninvasive to the lyrical value on the album. In between catchy vocal hooks you will be swept away by the blend of spacey, experimental guitar hooks and kick ass Southern leads.
There also lies a wonderful strangeness to this record. It’s the little things like a track of voicemail messages leading into the mesmerizing song “Like I Do.” It’s the Twilight Zone narration that kicks off “Southern Comfort.” It’s the sound of toe tapping in “Made of Stone.” I always frowned upon bands that tried creating a “dark edge” to their album by putting satanic pictures on the album cover, playing triplet double bass drum patterns, or adding an endless amount of pinch harmonics to each song. Lowcountry is dark and heavy as hell for none of the above reasons. Listening, I can’t help but get the vibe that these guys simply don’t give a fuck. The album is painfully real. It’s alien. The band plays with rests and space like never before. Listen to “The Devil’s Tongue.”  Rather than take away from the mystery of EOTC, I will leave the rest up to you.
Unfortunately, Envy called it quits this year. All the members are involved in new projects. A friend once told me he believes most brilliant bands have serious inner struggles. I believe that very thing.