Alunah and Queen Elephantine Make Time for Each Other on New Split 7″

In and out in a little over 12 minutes, this split 7” between British rockers Alunah (whose ending ‘h’ seems a recent addition) and multi-continental experimental droners Queen Elephantine is a quick trip, but a satisfying one nonetheless. Limited to 250 copies and issued through Catacomb Records, each side of the vinyl features one song just past six minutes long and though the two bands work in different atmospheres, there’s a far-off echo that permeates both pieces and builds cohesiveness between the styles.

With “Song of the Sun,” Alunah offer comparatively straightforward riff-based heavy rock, set apart from the pack by the lead vocals of Sophie (no last name given), for whom Acid King comparisons can’t possibly be anything new. Nonetheless, the band spend their time wisely, fading out and back in at the end for an additional few seconds of riffing and lead lines. The four piece aren’t really breaking any new ground for stoner rock, but neither are they offensive. They’re recording a new full-length this year, and I’d be interested to check it out, so if the idea of “Song of the Sun” was to get people interested in the band by giving them a small taste, then it worked.

Whether they’re hailing on any given day from New York, Providence, RI, or Hong Kong, the prolific Queen Elephantine always seem up for a little mind expansion. Somewhat ironic is that by keeping their contribution, “Mephistopheles,” to around six minutes, they’re actually more reigned in than usual. I get the feeling there’s a half-hour version of this song out there somewhere. As it stands on the split, though, the band, led by Indy Shome continue their progressive journey through deconstructed psychedelia. In contrast to Alunah, Queen Elephantine care little for structure and ride their song out to wherever it takes them. In the context of an LP, this can be challenging, but here they keep it relatively on track, which makes for a fascinating balance.

For Alunah, this is their second release following the Fall to Earth EP (also on Catacomb), and Queen Elephantine seem to have a new split or online-only release every few months, so it’s a fair bet we’ll be hearing more from both bands. Going by the tracks included on this 7”, that’s just fine, since they each have something of their own to offer but don’t stray so far from the other as to make for incongruous listening.

Alunah on MySpace

Queen Elephantine on MySpace

Catacomb Records

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply