In the course of a single year after meeting, the trio of Evangelicals played more than forty shows as well as recorded an album and a half worth of material on a string of four track machines and less-than-powerful computers. Hailing from Oklahoma, their debut album So Gone is infused with the same sort of reckless energy and free-for-all psych spirit that made The Flaming Lips so fun for awhile.
After opening with a short burst of organ squiggles and howling vocals, the album takes off in earnest with the shambling "Another Day (And Yoor Still Knocked Out)," which literally sounds like the work of six band members all making a frantic racket for the first part before settling down into an almost My Morning Jacket-esque country-fied track with loads of reverb. Of course, the group can't resist flying back into the maelstrom again, and speedy changes make the four and a half minute song one of the best on the album.
"Diving" is a little more straightforward, mingling shimmering synths and crunchy guitars with alternately spastic and subdued rhythms while singer Josh Jones adds his breathy croon. After awhile, the songs on the disc seem to sort of fall into a similar pattern of everyone in the group making as much noise as possible one moment, while pulling back for a graceful moment the next. Because of that, it's nice when they actually drop back for an extended period on the one-two of the lovely "My Headache," (which again sorta sounds like a My Morning Jacket ballad) "Into The Woods" (which almost sounds like it could be a Radiohead Kid A b-side).
Although the album certainly never gets stuck in a rut for too long, it does retread on itself in a couple different places, including during the second half of the rather lackluster "What An Actress Does Best." With ten tracks running barely over forty minutes, there are definitely moments of promise, but So Gone definitely feels like a debut in that the group doesn't really sound like they know exactly what they want to do. The youthful exuberance carries them a lot of the way, but can't sustain the release for the entirety.