September 7, 2006

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Everclear, Welcome to the Drama Club
Eleven Seven Music, 2006

Young alt-rockers could allow the tale of Art Alexakis’ rise and fall to serve some didactic purpose but they probably won’t; nowadays it’s the drugs before the fame, presumably because it makes edgy grist for the lyrical mill (or draws in the type of unbalanced soul who regards addicts as fascinating mythological creatures). Regardless, Everclear’s inexorable transformation into the Spin Doctors, which began with the two fan-base-baffling American Movie albums and hit critical mass with Slow Motion Daydream, is now complete. Art’s at divorce #3 now, bankrupt, abandoned by the original members and on an indie label, all of which represented a splendid opportunity to swim back out past the breakers and watch the world die like the good old days, but that’s been squandered away for a visibly desperate plea for airplay. Dave Matthews-ized to death, WTTDC gins up nothing Everclear-like, nary a downstroke of grunge guitar to be heard at all, and the only direct capitalization on “Santa Monica” is “Shine,” which reads like Train trying to be cool. Somewhere, Weezer is running a victory lap. C-

— Eric W. Saeger