Everybody Uh Oh – Man Am I Brad

Everybody Uh Oh
Man Am I Brad

Presenting a particularly depressing form of general shoddiness, Everybody Uh Oh’s debut record is as awkward as the band’s name. The Champaign rock band, led by a Jeremy Keller, claim a fondness for Yo La Tengo and Neutral Milk Hotel; they sound instead more like any number of mediocre indie-rock bands from the early 1990s. A lack of almost anything of interest plagues Man Am I Brad; all facets of this record sound tired, dated, and half-formed. The production, the lyrics, and the musicianship all sound like the product of maybe a good half-hour or so of thought and effort, and an air of indifference and outright laziness wafts steadily throughout this overlong ordeal.
Paradoxically, the less effort Everybody Uh Oh musters up, the less annoying the music they create. For example: the opening track, “Eunice,” is probably the best song here, even though it remains stultifyingly dull. A subdued, dronish hum that croaks along for almost seven minutes, “Eunice” practically dares the listener to acknowledge its existence. It has the tossed-off feel of Pavement’s “Haunt You Down” but without any of that song’s casual wit or uneasy charm. In its complete half-assed innocuousness, it scores as the greatest (or, at least, least offensive) moment on the whole record. The songs that follow more or less irritate the bejeezus out of me, as their derivative instrumentation and pretentious lyrics are all terribly obvious and ill informed. And the record’s production doesn’t help ease the pain; Man Am I Brad is lo-fi in all the wrong ways, and its colorless, murky stew makes the early works of Guided by Voices, the Grifters, and Sebadoh sound like Bob Rock recordings. Seriously, there record does nothing to ingratiate itself to the unbiased listener.
Everybody Uh Oh, while most assuredly existing with the absolute best of intentions, fail in almost every regard. The jarring switch from low-key indie-folkisms to grade-z Smashing Pumpkins ham-fistery, along with the sub-par, lo-fi production, and the slipshod songwriting, leads me to conclude that Everybody Uh Oh simply don’t know what their doing. Perhaps they’re just too young to know better? Who knows. This record basically sounds like a demo, a bad one at that, and I can’t understand why either band or label would deem it worthy for release.