steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Scoville Unit

"Everybody Knows" CD

Ernest Jenning Record Co.

Genres: indie pop, indie rock

Ernest Jenning
68 Cheever Place #2 Brooklyn NY

Sep 26 - Oct 3 2004

Scoville Unit's press sheet makes them out to be some sort of "big thing" borne out of a casual recording session between Gandhar Savur and four of his friends.  The songs that came out of an evening of instrumental tomfoolery were purportedly too amazing to let pass - Everybody Knows was released to give the music a proper home.

Sometimes pop musicians take themselves too seriously.  Scoville Unit, named after a measurement for specifying the "hotness" of hot sauces, are not about to change the face of rock music.  Their songs, though sometimes nice, are not likely to become mass favourites.  On Everybody Knows, nothing is offensively bad, but there are tunes that don't need to be here.  "That Special Someone," for example, is bland and ineffectual - it's very angsty, and its melody isn't remotely memorable.  "Wildest Dreams" is also quite unimpressive - its overall sound is amateurish and thoroughly uninteresting.

Fortunately, there are some redeeming, enjoyable tracks; however, nothing is mind-blowing.  "The Morning After," for example, is a peppy, keyboard-laced rock number; it is instantaneously catchy, but lacks substance for repeated listens.  "Bitter Drinks," meanwhile, is a bit calmer and more infectious, as is the cheerily self-deprecating "Secret Mission To Your Heart."  Closer "Everything" takes the cake - its simple structure is both cute and undeniably hum-worthy.

Everybody Knows is a suitable debut - it has its drab moments, but comes off positively as a whole.  If the folks behind Scoville Unit choose to record again, their sophomore effort should be worth some attention.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]