Elevant – There Is A Tide


Elevant – There Is A Tide

First track “I’m Only Falling Apart” crashes out of the speakers like a suddenly opened and over-full cupboard of objects that make loud noises when they land on the floor – unspecified metal implements, half a dozen skateboards, unstrung guitars and skinless drum parts. On their third album, Elevant have much in the way of gained experience to share with us, and if there’s one thing frontman Michael Edward knows, it’s that there is very definitely an audience for grungy garage punk played with a bit of intricacy and wrapped in vaguely disturbing studio production. Music that at various moments can reference Nirvana, The Cure, The Pixies, fellow Liverpudlians Echo & The Bunnymen… it goes on. In the music world of 2016, where it can seem that invention and enthusiasm are taking back seats to rehashed technology and syrupy balladeering, There Is A Tide appears to possess the kind of kick that few bands seem able to muster nowadays.

The chaotic introduction provided by the album’s opening number aside, there is a lot more than just thrashing out four chord tributes to Kurt/Robert/Ian (or whoever) for Elevant. What will keep you listening is that Michael Edward and his accomplices, bassist Hannah Lodge and drummer Tom Shand, are capable of turning in some inspired and committed performances throughout the eleven tracks of There Is A Tide . It was often remarked that bands would run out of ideas and enthusiasm on their ‘difficult’ third albums. The opposite seems to be holding with Elevant, a band whose music succeeds on more than one level as they add and subtract influences with seemingly randomised timings.

Second track “Audience” is the song that really puts it across about what Elevant can do. From its atmospheric intro, to the swirling chorus and then the sudden abrasiveness of the song’s mid-section, Elevant handle each part of the song with consummate skill and it just sounds very nearly perfect, every note and drum part played with determined vigour, the production adding only a hint of its containing a more virulent aspect of the band. And while “Audience” is indeed perhaps the strongest track on the album, as There Is A Tide continues we get to hear a lot more of the tightly paced, frenetic Elevant sound and it’s a furiously inspired one.

With an array of influences to experiment with, Elevant switch from full-on metal on “Home Is Dead”, grunge fuelled pyrotechnics with “We Eat Our Young”, post-rock innovation on both versions of instrumental track “Again” and lastly the grimily blues inflected “Dead Skin”. Keeping the actual band sound together while using diferent musical approaches on practically every track of There Is A Tide tells us much about exactly what Elevant are really putting into their music and the enthusiasm and attention to detail make for a constantly listenable forty or so minutes. On top of that there is also the fact that Elevant’s third album somewhere contains that undefinable shade of whatever it is that makes the difference between an album such as There Is A Tide sounding like a rehash of some well-known influences, and a startlingly original work with its own strengths and inspirations.

Elevant Music Limited