Sensory Overload: Everyone Leaves turn heavy subjects into heavier music

  • Photo by Andy Downing
By Columbus Alive
From the October 17, 2013 edition

Everyone Leaves is an appropriate name for a band that appeared to do everything in its power to drive listeners away.

On a recent Thursday at Kobo the local quintet turned out an assortment of pummeling tunes that were almost universally loud, cranky and unforgiving. Frontman Jacob Bialosky didn’t really sing so much as he growled, barked and howled, frequently doubling over at the waist as though he were enduring some seriously painful full-body dry heaves. Even a cover of a song by gentle folkies Mumford & Sons (“I Will Wait”) rumbled along like a grime-caked garbage truck, barely recognizable aside from a handful of tortured words in the chorus. Another cut, the original “Trainspotting” (or is it “Train Spotting”?), sounded as though it were set directly on the tracks the way the crew barreled forward into it.

Even so, this wasn’t music designed to force listeners away. As the group notes on its Facebook page, “This band is our attempt to make music and songs that connect with people.” Many of the tunes, in turn, were actually born of catharsis and a need for communal grieving. “Sorry I tried,” Bialosky howled on one number like a man who’d give anything to remake the past. Another tune found the frontman yet again struggling to connect with a fellow human being (a lover? A former friend?). “You’ll never feel the same way,” he cried, as the guitars crashed around him like falling timber.

Though the band wasn’t at full-strength (drummer Skylar McEntire missed the gig, so Ryan Harris of Goodnight, You sat in on this evening), the music never lacked for muscle. Also, in spite of the oft-weighty subject matter — “This is a sad song because that’s tonight’s theme,” Bialosky said at one point— the group somehow maintained its sense of humor throughout, ending the set with a goofy-yet-weirdly-endearing cover of Blink-182’s “All the Small Things,” a song the singer introduced by saying “Every band knows how to play this, but no one ever does because why on Earth would you?”

The levity the tune provided was the only answer his question needed.