Seven years in the making, the first body of songs from Envy on the Coast since 2010 is finally here.
“This EP is a bit of a time capsule that we decided to offer as a first impression for this iteration of our band,” the Long Island-bred duo tells Billboard, summing up a transitive period of reinvention for the one-time quintet. The group called it quits back in 2010 — months after releasing their sophomore LP — and reformed last year, eager to return to the stage and revisit songs left unfinished since the split.
“These songs represent a time of turmoil and uncertainty in our musical and personal lives that took place seven years ago,” the band continues. “With Ritual, we challenged ourselves to make rock music that felt authentic to who we are in 2017, while still maintaining the core of what these songs meant to us when they were conceived.”
Ritual does not arrive without change in the Envy on the Coast lineup. The current iteration includes a pair of founding members: frontman/multi-instrumentalist Ryan Hunter alongside backing vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Brian Byrne. Fellow founding members Salvatore Bossio, Jeremy Velardi, and Dan Gluszak amicably opted out of the band’s 2017 reunion dates, after being unable to agree on terms of the reunion, such as which parts of the back catalog to pull from in future set lists.
But for Hunter and Byrne, the show goes on. EOTC 2.0 deftly executes a spectrum of styles across Ritual’s six tracks, from slick, stop-start Incubus-like grooves on “Inhaler,” to spacious, Joshua Tree-style soundscapes on dramatic closer “Sift.” The EP is often very catchy, and it occasionally borders on actually being funky.
It’s out tomorrow (June 30) on Equal Vision Records, but you can listen to the whole thing below, exclusively via Billboard.