Saturday, September 24, 2011

REVIEW: Elba - Elba

Elba is a Seattle band I've just discovered (late again, sorry about that!). They play a brand of indie rock you're familiar with: sometimes called post-punk, it's a catchy sound with terrific guitars and nice harmony vocals on top of a sometimes jittery, sometimes almost languid rhythm section. Variation in tempo makes it interesting, but what keeps me coming back to this record are the guitars and they way they're employed to drive home the songs. As I listened to the soaring solo which closes out "Statues and Shipyards", to my mind the standout of this record, I checked the track time because I was thinking "This must be one of the longer songs, there's a LOT of guitar on here"... the song is 2:30. They do a lot but they don't waste time, and that's as worthy of admiration as their excellent songwriting and musicianship.

There's not a wasted moment and I don't think this record is ever less than stellar. It's instantly become one of my favorites of 2011.

Here's a download of "Statues and Shipyards", listen for yourself.

Here's a video for "From a Sinking Ship", which has a part that reminds me of R.E.M.'s "We Walk". I get reminded of all sorts of good bands: R.E.M., the Feelies, Modest Mouse, the Replacements, Oasis... a strange aggregation, I suppose, but evidence that while they do exhibit influences, these guys are making a sound that's their very own.

Look, I could go song by song here but suffice it to say I love this record and if I've ever steered you right before, you ought to go get this record right away. And pay these guys something... they've earned it.

You can download it at their Bandcamp, along with three more records.

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