The Elephant Premiere “Monkey Demon” Video from Self-Titled Debut

the elephant (Photo by Claudia Vitali)

Italian trio The Elephant released their self-titled debut album on Oct. 25 through Karma Conspiracy Records, and hey, you like bass? Me too. That’s good because The Elephant have two of ’em, and what’s more, they do away with pesky guitars getting in the way of all those low end good times. The three-piece of bassist/vocalists Giovanni Murolo and Marco Catacchio and drummer/percussionist Marco Sanchioni aren’t necessarily doing anything so crazy stylistically as they bring together shades of Queens of the Stone Age (“Black White Alice,” “Walk with the Sun”), The Midnight Ghost Train (“Quicksand Morning,” “Catfish”), Truckfighters (“River,” “Deep Down Tale”) and so on, but what they bring to the deceptively efficient 10-track/36-minute procession is an indelible mark of personality that comes through not just the punchy basslines, but through the dual-vocals as well, which seem that much higher in the mix — vocals high in the mix is like a hallmark of an entire branch of Italian heavy rock; you could write a thesis about it and believe me I’ve thought about doing so — for the lack of guitar under which to be buried.

Though somehow, given the croons and growls shared between Murolo and Catacchio, I don’t think even a six-string or two riffing out would be enough to repress the personae on display. Because there’s a lot of it throughout The Elephant‘s The Elephant, and even with the lead-in twanging introduction “Mud Song” ahead of “River,” and not just those two, but also “Quicksand Morning,” “Black White Alice” and “Monkey Demon” placed as the first half of the album in order of shortest-to-longest, as though the The Elephant The Elephantthree-piece are leading the listener deeper with each subsequent cut — indeed they are —  it can take a bit of getting used to. As “Deep Down Tale” answers back the energetic outset of “The River” before its own (temporary) mellowing, it also sets up the plunge through “Catfish,” “Summer Blood” and “The Stoker” en route to the more spacious and atmospheric “Walk with the Sun,” which is something of a surprising turn for the record to take, even at its conclusion, but by no means beyond the band’s reach as they clearly demonstrate, though it’s in moments like “Summer Blood” when they careen between loud/quiet volume changes and off-the-rails-but-actually-still-on-them mania that they seem most in their element.

But then, it’s important to remember The Elephant, as much as a self-titled can be interpreted as a declaration of intent — and a debut likewise — is indeed a first album, and by no means needs to be an endgame of any band’s progression. That is, The Elephant may yet have exploring to do and growth as songwriters, etc., it’s just hard to say at this point. But what they make clear in this collection is their intent toward vital delivery, weighted tone — though with two basses and no guitar, they might get to “weighted tone” whether they wanted to or not — and cleverly structured craft, and that’s certainly enough to pique interest.

If you haven’t checked out the record yet — hey, it’s been a busy couple months and it’s hard to keep up with all the rock coming out of Italy these days; I get it — it’s at the bottom of this post, and if you’d like a quicker sampling, you’ll find the video for “Monkey Demon” premiering below, with kids wearing masks Point Break-style and raising a bit of hell in slow motion. There’s some fire at the end, and it’s well shot, so yeah, bonus.

Hope you dig it:

The Elephant, “Monkey Demon” official video premiere

The Elephant self-titled debut album is out via Karma Conspiracy Records. Order it in physical or digital format here:

Feeding on a sound that is characterized by the combination of two (!) distorted basses, stubborn and obsessive rhythms with their roots in the blues, alternated with alienating and psychedelic atmospheres; it’s especially also this unique voice of singer and bassist Giovanni Murolo, who gives the trio its very special vibes, soul and grooves. The Elephant’s self-titled album is the result of a year’s work, with themes heavily inspired by the poetry of William Blake, Dylan Thomas and Henry Michaux.

The Elephant is:
Giovanni Murolo – Bass & Vocals
Marco Catacchio – Bass & Vocals
Marco Sanchioni – Drums & Percussion

The Elephant, The Elephant (2019)

The Elephant on Bandcamp

The Elephant on Bandcamp

Karma Conspiracy Records on Thee Facebooks

Karma Conspiracy Records website

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