By Al Kaufman
Success in the rock world is a crap shoot. For every Coldplay and Linkin Park that make it big, there are thousands of bands that have more talent but never make it. Is Everest a great rock band? No, but they’re just as good as any of these other radio friendly rock bands.
Everest was formed by Robert Pollard, formerly of Sebadoh and The Folk Implosion, in 2007. Their 2010 release, On Approach, turned some heads, but not enough to keep them from getting dropped by Warner Brothers. So the band regrouped, and, feeling liberated, released another batch of catchy rock songs that borrow heavily from the past, making them sound both familiar and fresh.
Opening track, “Rapture,” has the feel of a classic hypnotic Moody Blues tune, mixed with some U2 punch and Pete Townshend guitar. It is followed by “Into the Grey,” which has a certain Black Keys discordance. They throw in a touch of Jayhawk-ish alt-country with “Raking Me Over the Coals,” and step lightly into Coldplay area with both a ballad (“Hungry Ghost”) and a rock song (“Games”). Both are superior to Chris Martin’s band’s efforts, and both will receive far less airplay. The title track even has a Dark Side of the Moon-era Pink Floyd spookiness to it.
Although it seems as if Ownerless is a little too all over the place, it actually has a certain cohesiveness to it. Maybe it’s because the collaborative efforts of the band members, who helped flesh out each others song ideas and even took turns playing each others instruments. Or maybe because they’re just a good rock band; nothing more, but certainly nothing less.