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Des Moines-based indie-rock band comes to IC

BY JORDAN MONTGOMERY | OCTOBER 07, 2011 7:20 AM

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The Envy Corps, an indie-rock band from Des Moines, released one of the best albums of the year this week.

It Culls You is the band's second major studio release since the group's formation almost 10 years ago to the day. But in that 10 years, it hasn't been all sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll for the group. The band has overcome many setbacks, from record label screwups to guitarist Brandon Darner suffering a stroke onstage while performing in London.

Fans anxiously awaited the release of It Culls You, because the Envy Corps' last album was released three years ago, and similar to their new one, it rocked.

For those interested in hearing the Envy Corps' It Culls You, the band will perform at 9 p.m. today at the Blue Moose Tap House, 211 Iowa Ave. Admission is free.

Fans will find that It Culls You features a slightly harder sound when compared with the more candy-coated indie pop-rock songs from the previous album, Dwell.

The band has been compared with Radiohead and Modest Mouse (both great compliments, in my opinion), but the Envy Corps should not be discounted as a wannabe band. It has a unique sound and talent that deserves recognition.

There is not a bad song on It Culls You, and the band has managed to make every track unique. Even during the first listen, there was no confusing songs or wondering if I had moved onto a new song.

Each song has its own distinct sound.

After a few listens, I managed to pick a few of the album's highlights.

The album's second track, "Ms. Hospital Corners," is a grinding song that will remind fans of the group's previous album. The song opens with a crunching bass line that may have caused permanent damage to my subwoofer. The bass work on this album is incredible throughout; it starts with this song, and the bassist never lets up. Lyrically, "Ms. Hospital Corners" is probably the strongest song on the album mostly because of its chorus; the lyrics on this album are perhaps my only gripe.

My favorite song on the album is "Command+Q" (if you're reading this electronically, don't push, it will close the window). The tune is downright funky from start to finish. It opens with a guitar riff and a snappy drum cadence, a pair that is sure to get you moving. Near the middle of the four-and-a-half minute song, spacey synthesizers create what I imagine aliens landing on Earth would sound like.

The Envy Corps finishes the album with "Fools," a 14-minute song that comes in two parts, "Fools (How I Survived You & Even Laughed)" and "Fools, Pt. II (Bow)." The song begins very laid-back as singer Luke Pettipoole drops in and out of falsetto and his band backs him up with subtle sounds — it's almost dreamlike. Halfway through part one, the song explodes into a full band effort. The most impressive instruments are the band members' voices, creating a harmonious choral sound. "Fools" is a beautiful way to and an amazing album.


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