Photo: Seth Warrick
The Envy Corps was formed in October 2001 by Luke Pettipoole in Ames, Iowa. The rest of the band rotated musicians until 2005 when the group released its debut, “Soviet Reunion.” Brandon Darner and Scott Yoshimura joined the band in mid-2005 and brought a change in sound and goals.
In April 2006, the extended play album “I Will Write You Love Letters If You Tell Me To” was self-released and charted well on the College Music Journal Top 200. After that, the band was asked to join The Killers’ U.S. tour. In the summer of 2006, a Vertigo Records representative flew in from London to see a show and offered them a record deal. They then started working on “Dwell” in November 2006 and finished production in March 2007.
The band performed all over Great Britain, putting on more than 200 shows in 2007 with groups such as Editors, Mute Math and Eisley. The band even put on a show at the Glastonbury Festival. Then near the end of the year, Darner had a stroke onstage; but he recovered quickly and was even back to performing the next week. The band’s label delayed the release of “Dwell” despite its ever-growing fan base, a two-page spread in New Musical Express and a track from “Dwell” in the film “Run Fatboy Run.” The band came back to the U.S. after the album’s release was delayed.
The album was finally released in April 2008 in the United Kingdom and in digital format stateside in July of the same year. It received positive critic reviews, but because of the delay, the momentum for the album fizzled. In the fall of 2008, the band departed from its label to focus on its U.S. career.
The group released the extended play album “Kid Gloves” in April 2009. The five-song CD gained blog and radio attention across the Midwest, and a few songs were featured in HBO’s “Entourage” and Showtime’s “Look.”
Since then the quartet has spent its time writing and recording at its home studio in Des Moines and Mike Mogis’ ARC Studios in Omaha, Neb. The band’s next album is called “It Culls You,” and the songs are available on the Web while the CD will be released in October.
The music is described as American indie rock, with slower songs as well as upbeat rhythms. Different from its first album, the band is “redefining their sound by taking the pop melodies of their early work and marrying them with a heightened rhythmic sense and a more stripped down, concise approach to instrumentation.”
The band has an interesting sound; it’s a little bit of rock, indie and synthesizer music. Pettipoole has a nice voice, singing self-written songs, each with an inspirational message. Micah Natera, on the synthesizer keyboard, and Darner both play the guitar, and Yoshimura is on the drum set.
“Make it Stop” has the band’s familiar vibe. “Ms. Hospital Corners” has a different sound, which shows that this band is not just an everyday pop band. The group adds its own twist to make its music more modern, to make it different. The band has been compared to Radiohead, with some saying that Pettipoole even sounds like Thomas “Thom” Yorke. His voice is sensitive, yet so strong.
According to the Media Junkie CD review of the band’s latest album: “‘It Culls You’ was well worth the wait and contains some of the best material the band has recorded since ‘Dwell.’ The unforgettable second half of ‘Make It Stop,’ the outstanding choruses in ‘Ms. Hospital Corners,’ the well-placed and subtle synthesized strings in ‘In The Summer’ – it all adds up to another great record from a band that deserves more recognition than simply being labeled another Radiohead knock-off.”
Visit theenvycorps.com to download “Make It Stop” for free.
At a glance…
Physical copies of The Envy Corps’ album will be available and shipped on Oct. 3
The group opened for The Killers on its fall U.S. tour in 2006
The Envy Corps’ music was featured on HBO’s comedy-drama series “Entourage” in July 2010