ALL ENVY ASIDE – All Envy Aside EP
(2006 Minus World)
It’s been quite a year for All Envy Aside. The rock quintet from the Milwaukee area scored big, winning MTV-University’s Best Music on Campus competition. That earned them a trip to New York to film a video for their winning song “Burning Again” for Universal Records with an option for the label to pick up a full-length CD. “Burning Again” was also re-tracked with producer Tadpole (3 Doors Down, Disturbed) as part of the deal. Additionally the band picked up the WAMI for Rock Group of the Year 2006; garnered numerous television appearances; received some generous radio play; landed sponsorships from Parker Guitars and Road Ready cases; were a finalist in the Zippo Hot Tour contest, and more.
They must have learned a great deal from their association with Tadpole as they re-tracked three other songs from their 2004 album Message for the Blind, giving them new life, added punch and greatly improved production values. Three new songs, “Good to See You,” “Automatic” and “Shattered,” round out this seven-song EP. It’s a superb collection that should earn the band a deal even if Universal doesn’t exercise their option. The band is playing better too, especially in the guitar area. Dan Faherty and John Pachniak both solo with new-found confidence and gusto.
“Burning Again” is a bona fide hit, straight-ahead rock ready for the masses in the style of classic female-fronted groups like Pat Benetar and Joan Jett. “Ode” is vaulted from a plodding mid-tempo song to a powerful rock ballad. “Automatic” rocks ferociously with vocalist Amanda Tvedt growling like a caged cat. “Walk Away” approaches Zeppelin territory with its powerful guitar riff. Tvedt (yes, she’s my second cousin – so what?) is a commanding presence and is, naturally, the focus of the video and the EP’s packaging, the latter being less necessary. She’s got a powerful rock voice as evidenced on tracks like “Good to See You” but can soften up her delivery for the emotion-laden “Ode.”
All Envy Aside are poised to take the next step toward stardom. Each member is a solid performer and they appear to have no shortage of catchy hooks, monster riffs, ambition and impetus. They play Madison often and you can get a taste of their live performance by watching a video from their recent Urban Theater performance on their website. The MTV-U video can also be streamed there.