Sometimes, what you need out of our music is for it to be rock solid. The parameters of said music should be well defined, the execution reliable and engaging. You’re not looking for experimentation or a breach in the boundaries of what you know but for emotional connection, groove and professional delivery. If you’re feeling in that kind of mode, then Servers‘ Everything Is OK is here to scratch that itch for you. It’s an album that relies on a decidedly modern approach to its music, tight production and focused composition shedding innovation in favor of communication and effectiveness. Splice that with a pleasingly nuanced social critique and you have an album which draws its strength from empathy and a shared human condition.
On the musical side of things, Servers produced what can only be called modern metal, a moniker used to signify a specific set of sounds and approaches. First, the guitars are thick and resounding. Most riffs dodge a progressive prefix but only by a little; the composition is varied and, at times, intricate. Backing these large guitars is a thick bass which doesn’t explore further than the main riffs and their rhythmical sensibilities. So too the drums, preferring an all together traditional backing role. These things might seem as negatives and they often are but here, they produce an endearing charm which reminds us of the power of brit-rock, near its last days.
“My Friends Are Enemies”, the second track, is an excellent example of all of this and also introduces vocals into the discussion. The chorus/verse/chorus structure is well utilized, with the transitions made up of changes mostly felt along the backing guitars and drums. However, the vocals are dripping with just the right amount of dynamics and emotion to sway us over; the intimations of bands like Placebo or even Muse at times are prominent and well executed. This grants the track an energy hard to resist, making it an anthemic crowd pleaser. A second vocal elements, while not produced by the singer, is also present on the album. Samples are utilized in intros and outros throughout Everything Is OK and are used well, a rare statement.
Instead of just being a background hum, they actually transform tracks like “Our Lady of Bad Counsel”, both as persistent vocal elements and as introductory tools which set the “story” of the album. This is the social critique we had mentioned earlier. The idea is to magnify the music and its impact via these modern snippets of society. Herein though lies the major weakness of the album: it is a one note album, digging away again and again at the same points and ideas. The sample are a great example of that: they’re all either news recordings or something of the sort, reporting on disaster, calamity or distress. The message is clear but it’s clear from the beginning. What’s unclear is why Servers felt the need to continue hitting it home, well after the nail has pierced the board.
Some variation is introduced into the album, on later tracks which feature more extravagant solos and even harsh vocals at points. These, coupled with some more interesting samples and vocal parts, save the somewhat lackluster middle of the album. The energies of the beginning passages, still simple and straightforward but replete with verve, are recaptured, leading to a strong finish. Overall, this album is actually what we, and probably the band, set out for it to be: a rush of blood to the head, a boost of energy. This is somewhat lost in favor of singular attention near the middle but otherwhere, it’s a refreshing and well made escapade into the bowels of modern metal.