- The New Evils
The thing about evil is it always seems brand new. At almost the other bookend of this decade—a decade in which “evil” seemed destined to be one of those touchstone words—2003 saw the unveiling of the newest local record label, Soundco Records, run by an old Salt Lake City hand. Mike Kirkland had played in early Utah punk bands and New York metal band Prong in the ’80s, and created a house of garage-y bands with a boutique-specialized sensibility.
His own band, the New Evils, included Danny and Steve Morrison, veterans of the SLC punk scene, and the group’s 2003 album The Nothing Years evoked the sense of driving around in a beat-up car late at night feeling like “The Ancient Teenager.“ Cut to 2010: the label is now called Rue Records, and Piece of Tomorrow is the new l’album du mal. It’s less discordant, more lanky and loping than their debut; it sneaks up on you with a left jab. One of the best things about the new New Evils is the assistance of local guitar legend Al Dine and ex-Salt Laker Leif Myrberg on most of the drum tracks—two musicians who put their all into every song, and contributed to many of the most vital musical voices in town. If local music is to stay anything close to dangerous, we need an update from these guys every so often. (Rue Records)
Nate Padley is one of the most versatile local songwriters, able to weave intimate stories with simply his voice and whatever guitar or piano happen to be handy—or, if the means be there, doing the full orchestral pop thing. This was proven in spades on his Soundco Records full-length debut, Monster of Vision (2003), an omnibus of melodies inspired by classic pop from the Beatles to the Pixies.
Padley’s newest release combines the songs “Pieces of Sunken Ships on Seabeds” and the single “Monster of Vision,” both from a new album due this summer. The former, grandiose title notwithstanding, is a quiet reverie, the eye of the storm. “Monster of Vision” describes the moment when the familiar can shock, but also sounds like it could be describing his own musical vision. This disc is a small taste of both sides of this eclectic musician that keeps you wanting more. (Rue Records)