When I recieved this CD to review something really annoying happened. Do you ever get that thing where you have heard the name of band, and cannot remember why? Anyway, that happened with this album. After some e-sleuthing I tracked them back to a great label that everyone should checkout called ‘Unlabel‘, and I finally had that ‘oh yeah’ moment. Back in the summer of 2007 this band released a really cool single called ‘The Acorns’ which I picked up to review for a now-dead music mag. I re-read the review, and it seems that I still have the same problem catagorising the music then as I do now.
I know it’s vauge, but I can best describe Elks as a ‘rock band’. I only use this catagory as the band seem to be unsatisfied remaining in any one particular corner of any musical cabinet that I try to file them in (which can be a bane, as I tend to file my CD’s this way). This is not a critisism by any means, I think this is a great album, but it makes reviewing it a little tricky at times.
The album really does take you down some very unexpected avenues, veering between catchy, dare I say ‘Idlewild-esque’ pop songs, and jagged Hirameka Hi-Fi meets Cove type angularities. The mood of the record really swings around all over the place as well. Opener ‘Sorry for the Inconveniance’ teases you with some stripped-down Shellacy guitar wrangling, then leaps into some gentle and uplifting epicness in ‘Left Standing’. ‘London’ sees the addition of exrtra singer Deborah Louise Grant and violinist Joanna Corr, adding yet another layer to the ever-shifting tone of the record.
Overall this record is a great introduction to Elks to anyone that cares to listen. I am left feeling both sonically satisfied, and waiting with interest to see where they’ll take us next. Recomended!