The title may be missing some punctuation, but that doesn’t detract from the debut release of South Jersey octet The Everymen (who, ironically or appropriately, contain a woman in their ranks). Rather than the expected definition of “hardcore” (as in “hardcore punk”), the band’s New Jersey Hardcore is closer to “We are from, and love, New Jersey. Hardcore!” Featuring a blend of punk, rock, ska, and doo-wop, The Everymen may not be doing anything earth-shattering, but what they do, they do VERY well.
The record opens in earnest with “Dance Only, Only Dance,” an upbeat dance-along featuring dual male and female vocals, as well as the honking tones of a baritone saxophone. “With The Boys” is a mournful, chugging ballad about trust issues and drinking to numb the pain, while “Coney Island High” is a classic, catchy pop-rock anthem about the perils of being a teenager. “Boss Johnny & the Get Lucky” is the standout track here, a punk-infused ’50s pop number that sounds like The Ramones teamed up with The Four Seasons, and showcasing a Morphine-style warped-out sax solo. Finally, the stomping, country-fried hoedown of “Novocaine” gives way to “Yellow Sunday Dress,” a bluegrass and jazz-inflected weeper that proves you don’t always have to go out with a bang.
The Everymen straddle so many genres here, it’s difficult to nail down just one genre that they fit. However, they certainly handle all of those genres quite well. Fans of quirky pop music, as well as NJ mainstays like The Boss should give this a spin. Fans of classic punk, and the Neverhood soundtrack, should check this out as well. And, of course, if you’re hardcore New Jersey, pick up New Jersey Hardcore.