Couldn't find a review for this yet so I thought I'd drop mine in on here.
You know what, it always for a few minutes, amazes me the breadth and scope of music. How sounds transverse geographical roots, influencing some bizaare far-a-field listeners. I know Elvis Deluxe aren’t that far-a-field, it’s only Poland, but it always amazes me at how bands which do have to work around difficult environments produce very, very good music. And that that music is occasionally stoner rock, it just makes it even better.
When I was first acquainted with Poland’s Elvis Deluxe it was with their brilliant 2007 record ‘Lazy’. It was when I was first really digging stoner rock and the record was pivotal in me diving right in. I later went to report that the record was available for free at the band’s bandcamp page if you remember correctly. ‘Lazy’ had the whole package as to what I was concerned, the Queens of the Stone Age Rated R-era hooks, obviously the best kind, interplayed with their brand of queasy robotic riffs which danced with a distinct clear singing voice. In fact, you can still go and download ‘Lazy’ for free: here. My highlight being the track ’27′, it’s pretty cool.
Now it’s 2011 and it’s a new Elvis Deluxe who have undergone some lineup changes, dropping guitarist Mechu in exchange for “ol’ mate” Bert Trust. Luckily it seems not to have had that big an inflection on the quality of the music as it still kicks ass. But there has been a change concerning the content.
It’s gonna feel strange to talk about technology when comparing to the analogue loving Pole’s sound, but here goes. Like one would adapt the RGB colour level on photoshop, you push red all the way up the image turns red, likewise with the other two colours, it’s similar to the dynamics on ‘Favourite State of Mind’. The new record shares traits with ‘Lazy’, obviously it’s written by the same people, but it’s like ‘Lazy’ had it’s RGB colour levels twiddled with. Rhythm has been pushed forward to be more vibrant to contrast with the floating pyschedelic wavering. Instead of Red, Green, Blue, it’s Rhythm, Garage, Blues, and R and G have been pushed to the max.
Addressing this more garage orientated sound, it is alot down to the coarser production and dirtier guitar tone, like they’ve been taking crib sheets from an Indie The Hellacopters and The Black Keys instead of the dulcet tones of Kyuss. This especially is not a bad thing, it shows that Elvis Deluxe is willing to progress and evolve, to show what they can do, not just the same thing over and again. But whatever, when you have Elvis Deluxe’s riffs, well, it’s pretty certain the record is going to kick you from California to Sweden or wherever they want to take you next.
At that, Riffs bookend the record, hitting hard at the opening, a new dirty production which has been favoured by blues bands like The Black Keys is introduced, and show Elvis Deluxe doing they do best. Name dropping The Black Keys is quite suitable for tracks like the bombastic ‘Out All Night’ and the mellow ‘Take It Slow’. Whilst ‘Let Yourself Free’ and ‘Fire (Loveboy)’ evoke a more Indie Hellacopters sensibility. And as Elvis Deluxe calm down and drop out in the middle phase they remind me of a sunnier Kings of Frog Island emitting a cooler psychedelic elements portrayed beautifully on the mellow instrumental ‘Out There’.
I’m going to admit now, when the CD(!) (that’s right I actually got sent a physical CD, it was probably the highlight of the week, as I love CDs, send me more damnit!) arrived on my doormat and I tore through the barrage of Polish stamps, which were cool and I kept one, I did look at the tracklist names and I did falter at how ballady they sounded. ‘This Time’, ‘Take It Slow’, ‘Let Yourself Free’ it all sounded a tad cheesey. Thankfully when I whacked the disc(!) into my player and the stocky tone rummaged in I knew Elvis Deluxe had arrived.
On a sidenote, I am totally digging the pink 70s induced artwork, the classy border edges and the white snake in the background is encapsulates perfectly what the record sounds like, which is what it should do. So on this front good job.
On ‘Favourite State of Mind’ Elvis Deluxe show a welcome progression, an organic development drifting away from the desert scorch and robotic riffs, floating towards a more rough around the edges kick-in-your-face/psyche trip. This is a solid follow up record to a cool debut and I can only hope and pray these dudes head to British shores because I’m pretty certain, they’re gonna sound sweet.
‘Favourite States of Mind’ dropped April 11th, so I really don’t know what you’re waiting for.