Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Record Review: It's Elephant's - Gets Along

It's Elephant's were among the first publicity clients of my friend Liz at Deus Ex Machina PR, and they've really been blowing up lately. They're tons of fun live, and bring a real work ethic and sense of humor to everything they do, it seems. I got to write a spotlight on them for Southeast Performer after their first album Little Trouble In Chinatown last year, as well as edit my friend Nikki's Catching Up With... piece on them back in the Paste:Local Atlanta days. Now, I reviewed their sophomore full-length, Gets Along, for Atlanta Music Guide. I feel like the band has really grown up. Have a look:

It's Elephant's
Gets Along

The danger latent in having a frontman with such a recognizable voice — in this case one with a crackling, blues-rock bent that bends and scoops from pitch to pitch — is that everything else will go unnoticed. But Brent Jay’s vocal performances, for Atlanta band It’s Elephant’s, are only a small part of the story. Behind, under and all around them are other things: confident guitar riffage, adorable and well-placed backup singing, moving bass lines, bright horns, bouncing piano and insistent drumming.

All these abilities have congealed into the quartet’s sophomore full-length, Gets Along, a mashup of related but individual song styles, down to a final track utilizing the type of electronic voice made famous by Radiohead’s Ok Computer. The band has evolved light years in the time since last year’s Little Trouble in Chinatown, even if you’re only considering production value. The hardcore twinge to their compositions has largely evaporated (save for a few bouts of screaming; see “Black Cock Down”), replaced instead with smart pacing and clean, crisp arrangements that allow all parts to be appreciated equally (see “Sam Loomis Hardware”). It’s a smart move for It’s Elephant’s, because what they have over others in their genre — we’ll call it “blues pop” — is the effort they put into layering their complementary parts atop one another...[Read more]

The band plays a record release party at The Earl June 26 with The Long Shadows and Whores.

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