Evans the Death’s “Vanilla” Is Anything But

The band’s new album offers a dazzling palette.

Evans the Death
Fortuna POP!

Courtesy of Fortuna POP!

After two albums of elegant folk-rock, London’s Evans the Death has thrown off the shackles of propriety with startling vigor. Pushing the concept of reinvention to a risky but thoroughly successful extreme, singer Katherine Whitaker and company act as if someone spiked their herbal tea with a renegade shot of old-school punk, howling, shouting and stomping like there’s no tomorrow. Rowdy tracks such as “Haunted Wheelchair” and “Suitcase Jimmy” evoke the late-’70s tumult of the UK scene, when X-Ray Spex, the Mekons and other rebels threw out the rule book on how a rock band should sound in favor of unfettered, unpolished self-expression. By the time the quintet flirts with a more-refined mode, it’s just one element of a dazzling palette. Vanilla is anything but.