On the Brink of It All
On their third release, Ever Stays Red manages to fuse spiritual exaltation with a thoughtfully poetic outlook while rocking like there’s no tomorrow. Though somewhat akin to Anberlin or Mae in their intentions, this Arizona-based foursome carves its own niche thanks to smart lyrics and a gut-punching musical attack. Newly recruited Dustin Carlson projects both vulnerability and a desperate sort of heroism in tracks like “Can’t Explain” and “Light In the Fire.” While there’s a confessional quality to many of these songs, their messages also reach outwards — “Love So Loud” is a rallying cry of bold belief intended for the world at large. “Glorious” finds ESR delivering a praise number of disarming simplicity. Thanks in part to Zach Andresen's supple guitarwork, the album is consistently hook-filled and melodically substantial. When the band turns down the volume a little for “Bright Eyes” the results are no less compelling. Taken in sum, On the Brink of It All is the sort of Christian rock album that bids strongly for a mainstream audience without diluting its faith-based focus.