Elvis Deluxe Don’t Want No Money, Don’t Want No Bread

I guess if there’s a three-year time span between recording your album and sending it out for review, you earn the right to call it Lazy. Such is the case with Poland’s Elvis Deluxe, who might be the most Swedish group of rockers Warsaw has ever produced. The old-school four-piece (vocals, guitar, bass, drums) are heavily indebted to the first couple Dozer records, and of course Kyuss is always a comparison point, but there are moments where their individuality flourishes, and in many ways, those are the strongest of the record.

Still, you tread dangerous ground calling an album Lazy, and fortunately for Elvis Deluxe, the songwriting isn’t. At its most derivative – parts of “Extraterrestrial Hideout Seeker” and “Sleep Brings No Relief” – the material is still well done, recorded smoothly and crafted with sincerity rather than mocking irony. A song like “Ready to Rage,” with its handclap-ready punkish snare hits, isn’t necessarily original, but at no point on the album do Elvis Deluxe seem like innovation is their first priority. Rather, Lazy, which was released in 2007 on Get by Records, vibes like a bunch of guys having a good time rocking out, and that’s exactly its appeal.

It doesn’t sound out of date for being a few years old, or at least no more than it means to. The stoner rock sound is built on homage, so although Dozer hasn’t sounded like this in a decade, it’s not like Elvis Deluxe’s sound is passé. Hell, I don’t know if it was ever “cool” to begin with. Who cares? It rocks.

Songs like “27” and “Money to Burn” are more the band’s own, and tonally, they’re more suited to them. The latter has a laid back jam that’s given life by the drum sounds and the easy feel that comes across in the guitar is all the better when it picks up. Given what’s already been described, you’d have to expect Elvis Deluxe get down with a good bit of fuzz, and they do. Later into Lazy, with a song like “The Mountain,” they get even more relaxed in terms of pace, and it suits them just as well as did some of the harder rocking earlier songs, like opener “Superorfeo” or “Perfect Ride.” It’s a smooth transition, and for listeners who’ve been around stoner rock for a while, Lazy isn’t going to be a challenging listen in the slightest, but on those occasions where you just want something to rock out to without wracking your brain, Elvis Deluxe are just right.

The overblown vocals and noisy disintegration of closer “Between Heaven and Hell” come as something of a surprise, but by then I’m so unwound in hearing the album that the shock is only temporary. Maybe not the best move on the part of Elvis Deluxe to throw that curve in at the end of a record that’s stuck pretty solidly to an approach throughout; as missteps go, it’s by no means the worst, and the song still grooves steadily, bringing Lazy to its end with the same fervor with which it began.

Elvis Deluxe gets points for the simple approach, and the for the vaulted nature of their lineup (Mechu is the “Navigator of Astral Sonic Spaces,” Miko the “Liquid Foundation Constructor,” Bolek the “Relax Commander” and “Ziemba the “Keeper of Pulse”), and Lazy has enough charm that I’m not about to pan it for being unoriginal. If Elvis Deluxe were out there pretending to be Satan’s gift to stoner rock, it might be different, but these guys are just going where the riff takes them, which is ultimately what this scene – regardless of locale – is about. Lazy is there for anyone who wants to dig on it, the rest be damned.

Elvis Deluxe on MySpace

Get by Records

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