The Evoka Project – December Drive EP

The Evoka Project
December Drive EP

This North Carolina band – now known as EVOKA (with all caps for some strange reason) – was formed in the summer of 2000, and its members have been working hard to get their name out to the public. The band has given songs to various companies to use in marketing and other features. This is their second EP with a couple of redone songs from the first one plus a couple of new songs as well. The band create some punky emo-pop with similarities to some more recent well-known bands that might be played on the radio.
“Hollow” starts the disc off with some spiky thudding guitarwork creating a stream of echo while J.M Taylor croons his way through the song using reverbed vocals. This song comes off limp and lifeless and sort of by-the-book on how this stuff can be done, which is pretty disconcerting. “Downer” is a little better off staying with a punkier base and more enjoyable melodies. The lyrics are a little cliche, and the whiny vocals can leave a bitter taste in your mouth, but the song is enjoyable and one of the better tunes on the disc. “Standby” is the attempt at a ballad on this disc and it really could have been done without. The lyrics are overly sappy and ill conceived, if not heartfelt, and the execution is pretty horrendous. The song just limps by while the musicians do their darndest to get something out of it to no avail; it’s kind of depressing to hear attempts at doing something well without achieving.
I’ll say one thing for this disc, it is full of ear-catching melodies that may bring attention to the band. Still there is a lot that can be improved on to make this a decent outing, and it will be best for the band if they figure these things out. The over production seems to drain a lot out of these songs and sucks all the energy out of the performances. These artists have more things going for them when they stick to the more upbeat punky tunes, avoiding the sentimental ballads. This is a routine and uninspiring outing from this band; it’s plain and simple paint-by-the-numbers emo-pop.