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Everclear

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Formed in Portland, Oregon, in 1991, by Art Alexakis (b. 12 April 1962, Los Angeles, California, USA; vocals/guitar), Craig Montoya (b. 14 September 1970; bass/vocals) and Scott Cuthbert (drums), although the latter was replaced by Greg Eklund (b. 18 April 1970) in 1994. Alexakis had previously worked as a roadie for a succession of northwest punk bands. Indulging himself in copious quantities of drugs, he only decided to start his own band when a cocaine overdose temporarily stopped his heart. Early comparisons to Nirvana (exacerbated by the singer’s blonde hair) went into overdrive when Kurt Cobain publicly stated his approval. Everclear made their debut in 1994 with World of Noise, which included the intriguing “Sparkle”.

The mini-album White Trash Hell, again on Fire Records, was released in 1995. The band was subsequently offered a major label recording contract with Capitol Records. They were signed by Gary Gersh, who had previously taken both Nirvana and Sonic Youth to Geffen Records. During the same year the band released their first album for the new label, the critically lauded and commercially successful Sparkle and Fade. They repeated this success two years later with the release of the infectious and highly melodic So Much for The Afterglow. The clumsily titled Songs from An American Movie Vol. One: Learning How To Smile (2000) toned down the neo-grunge guitar rock in favor of a more eclectic approach, embracing tight harmonies, strings, and a cover version of Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl”. The vitriolic pop punk collection Songs from An American Movie Vol. Two: Good Time for A Bad Attitude, released only four months later, helped restore the band’s alternative rock credibility.

The band’s commercial peak had long since passed by the time of 2003’s Slow Motion Daydream, and following the album’s release Montoya and Eklund both announced they were leaving. Alexakis announced he would continue recording under the Everclear name, combining music with a burgeoning political career. He was joined in the new line-up by Dave French (guitar), Sam Hudson (bass), Brett Snyder (drums) and Josh Crawley (keyboards).

Multi-Platinum band Everclear returns with its eight new album, and the first in six years, Invisible Stars (2012). Frontman Art Alexakis says “Invisible Stars is a record that wanted to be made, as opposed to a record that I wanted to make. This is a collection of songs that wouldn't leave me alone. They are full of melody, big guitars, sarcasm, humor and a firm eye on the light at the end of the tunnel, walking the line between sounding like a classic Everclear album of the late 1990s and a contemporary rock record. This is a record I have been waiting to make my whole life.”

The album boasts twelve exciting new tracks, from album opener “Tiger in A Burning tree,” to “Be Careful What You Ask For” to “Santa Ana Wind” through to the end with “Promenade.” Invisible Stars is a thematic collection of songs from the perspective of someone who has ridden the rollercoaster, and has got back in line. Everclear, like its charismatic front man, has grown up a bit, and at the same time, Everclear (again, like Art) refuses to grow up and play nice.


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