Picture this: the photogenic fellas of LA trio Everybody Else rode their bikes to the studio every day while recording their self-titled album wearing short shorts, headbands and no shirts to beat the heat. Laced with knockout hooks and swooning choruses, the finished album emerges brighter than the searing sun they were battling—and even more fun than their eye-catching wardrobe.
Named after the underrated Kinks B-side "I'm Not Like Everybody Else," the band formed from the ashes of the equally underrated Waking Hours, the Push Kings and Moods for Modern. The Push Kings, led by Everybody Else front man Carrick Moore Gerety and his brother Finn, trafficked in insanely catchy power-pop but never quite broke out of their indie rock surroundings. Everybody Else have already avoided that mistake, landing an Old Navy commercial and loads of buzz around LA.
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Looking to such genre greats as Cheap Trick and Badfinger, Moore Gerety taps into his arena-sized ambition and natural gift for tunefulness to crank out should-be hits such as "Rich Girls Poor Girls" and "Faker." He sings about hot young things who strut past in cutoff shorts ("Born to Do"), get bored ("Makeup") and play the field ("Meat Market"), all while Everybody Else dip into glam and soul to make their thousand-watt pop even glossier.
Everybody Else don't so much reinvent pop as perfect it, writing songs that tell stories but also get stuck in your head on the first spin. They even try their hands at power ballads. "In Memoriam" lingers on the residue of times long past, and "The Longest Hour of My Life" mines separation for all its melancholy: "I miss the rain/I miss the sun/When I'm home, I miss being gone."
Mostly, though, the album is radiantly upbeat, and bassist Austin Williams and drummer Mikey McCormack eagerly match Moore Gerety's powerhouse melodies at every turn. Everybody Else have been lumped in with Phantom Planet and Rooney, but there's more heart and history in these songs than in those two bands put together. Plus, they're way cuter.
Everybody Else, Self Against City, The Actual and Bristol to Memory perform at Chain Reaction, 1652 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 635-6067. Fri., 7:30 p.m. $10. All ages.