Evergreen -1980, Wholeness of the Soul, Precious // Fall, Empty World (Self Destruct Records) 1992. This is a ridiculously good hardcore / post-hardcore 45 that I would never in a million years have listened to if it weren’t for the fine folks at Noise Pollution Records. Three words for why I wouldn’t have given Evergreen a chance…”white-boy dreads”. That is correct, some of the dudes in this band look a lot like the funk jammin’, Primus rockin’, proto-grunge alternative nation people I wanted to beat up back in 1992. And their appearance would have kept me from checking out the music which is absolutely amazing. Now none of this should come as a surprise to anyone. I established a long time ago that I am, at times, a superficial prick. Most of us are, I just make no apologies for it. Like Philip Oakley once said, “I’m only human”.
Anyhoo, about the music…if you could imagine Fried Milk-era Tar Babies with much better songs and better production, you would be about there. The first two songs, 1980 and Wholeness of the Soul are the most traditionally hardcore with singer Dave Pollard sounding like a cross between Dez Cadena and Bucky Pope but already there are some interesting time changes and breakdowns. After this, the 45 is pretty indescribable and just rocks. In fact, I have to imagine these guys flat-out blazed in concert back in the day and from the testimonials I have heard from various Louisville luminaries, my suspicions are probably correct.
Here is the story as I know it…Coming out of the ashes of a metal band called Cinderblock, Evergreen played in their original form for a few years before breaking in half, getting a new vocalist, a new drummer and a new, more commercial sound. The later Evergreen released a self-titled album in 1996 that has since overshadowed the early material. By the mid 2000′s the early stuff had reached legendary status to music fans in Louisville. Noise Pollution did the only justifiable thing by re-releasing it this past year. So definitely buy the new CD because it not only contains this 7inch but also their early demo tape (which is equally as good) and a bunch of kick-ass live tracks. On my side…moving forward, I solemnly pledge to give bands a chance even if they have white-boy dreads.