Eve’s Plum – Envy – Review

Eve’s Plum

Envy (Epic)
by Kerry Joyce

Yeah, they took their name from “What’s wrong, Jan?” the unappreciated neurotic second daughter of the Brady Bunch. But they don’t push it too far; to the point of getting corny about it or anything, which is one thing I like and at the same time don’t like about this band.

Eve’s Plum seems to play it cool more than they really need to. They’re “musicians” content with letting their superior mastery do much, perhaps too much of the work. It’s just another freezing winter weeknight on Lansdowne St. If you’re going to make a fool of yourself or just maybe set the place on fire with a divine spark, this is the time and place to do it.

I wouldn’t object except in those explosive minutes when Eve’s Plum metamorphoses into Eve’s Apple, ah, then matters turn truly demonic, and their play is unforgettable.

Guitarist, Michael Kotch, backed up by brother Ben on drums and Theo Mack on bass, is lightning quick and squeaky clean, like the bullet train from Yokouska to Tokyo. Except that just as you settle comfortably into your seat, Engineer Mike casually drives off a cliff, only to parachute you onto the terra firma below with a raucous thud, acting all the while as if nothing had happened. “Whadd I do?”

The Kotch brothers are identical twins and they perform with all of the uncanny synchronicity that relationship conjures up in the imagination. The downside is a tendency to play on their own terms and without as much of that ego driven need to connect personally with their audience.

The brothers’ jazzy nonchalance, however, is in some ways one of the best things about Eve’s Plum. It allows for two performers, potentially overpowering in their own right to heft upon their giant shoulders the band’s shamanistic lead singer, Colleen Fitzpatrick.

Like Jan Brady, she is a blond wisp of a girl, and at 24 could still sit pouting outside the principal’s office at Catholic High School USA without anyone giving her a second look, except perhaps to partake of a long and loving glance up her breaching skirt.

Careful. Where Blondie, with whom she is sometimes compared, threatens to draw you in and devour you in some deliciously tawdry back stairwell scandal, Fitzpatrick’s frenetic, in your face femininity suggests hit and run with a stolen Isuzu in the teachers’ parking lot. As she downshifts into low notes that Debra Harry never knew, it becomes obvious that if the Exorcist is ever made into a musical, she is a shoe-in for the starring role.

As Colleen sings “I Will Survive,” you’re sure she’s no stranger to heartbreak and are reminded that neither are you. Yet the same depth of feeling, it seems, is not often reached in the band’s many fine original cuts, or in fairness, on anyone else’s at the moment.

Eve’s Plum will survive. Their fans expect (DEMAND!) more. Billboard magazine called the group’s new album, Envy, a solid debut from a young band with guts and attitude to spare. Well Eve, you little tease, what are you saving it for? If we wanted cherry we’d put up with listening to Marcia.