oday, rising power trio Andrew Scotchie & The River Rats have unveiled their third studio release, Everyone Everywhere. A mixture of psychedelia, funk, retro-rock, and string arrangements with a hefty dose of social and political commentary woven in, the 6-song EP packs a big punch in just 25 minutes, and easily marks the band’s most mature and creatively eclectic work to date. A timely addition to the band’s growing discography, Everyone Everywhere implores a bold message perfectly fitted for the current climate, with well-balanced musings on both the darker sides of human nature and the encouraging trajectory of mankind.
While heavier subjects like corporate greed and inequality are prominently featured in the condemnatory track “Funny Money,” more playful tunes like the sweet retro inspired “Natural Romantic” offer listeners a much needed respite from thinking about these turbulent times. An anthem in its own rite, leading single “Stepping Stone” sets the stage for a short yet pungent magical mystery ride of psychedelia, funk, and jam-adjacent rock that is nothing short of enrapturing. The standout “Fear Mongers” starts with a hardy sample of Charlie Chaplin’s famed “The Great Dictator” speech (which required official approval from the late filmmaker’s rights-holding office in Paris), declaring that “the misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed” and segues perfectly with lead songwriter Andrew Scotchie’s “don’t wait / don’t hesitate / ‘cause the poor man can’t give what the rich man always takes,” artfully encapsulating the corrupt nature of capitalist society. Sonically, the record showcases Scotchie’s impressive guitar slinging abilities and signature “brand of straight ahead-to-psychedelic swaths of rock” (Bristol Herald Courier), earning the young musician a seat alongside classic greats like Pete Townsend and Mike Campbell as well as contemporary favorites like Eric Gales.
With such timely social commentary embedded into every track, the new EP could easily be mistaken for a response to the ongoing pandemic, though the album was actually recorded months prior. Still, Scotchie welcomes the serendipity, and encourages his listeners to adopt their own takes on the lyrics, especially when they can be utilized to reclaim hope. Scotchie concludes the album with a universal offering in the title track “Everyone Everywhere,” suggesting “Even if you feel lonely / when this world is unkind / call on me, I’m sure you’ll find / even when you feel you got nothing / everyone everywhere’s got something.”