Elephantbear, Hide And Go Seek | Album Review | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Elephantbear, Hide And Go Seek 

Album Review

cd-elephantbear.jpg

(Old Man Upstairs Records, CD)

You like chocolate, right? And, assuming you eat meat, you probably like bacon, too. Why not put them together? This unlikely pairing is actually the recipe for a bizarre gustatory delicacy known as Choinklate, a classic case of one-plus-one equals three. The sum being greater than its parts is the basic premise on which many a genre-bending musical act crafts its sound — if you play funk and you like jazz, why not start a jazz-funk fusion band? Keeping with the theme, it would seem that Plattsburgh / Burlington outfit elephantbear are something of a musical Choinklate: sugary sweet party-rock on the outside, and salty, crispy jam-rock on the inside. Citing influences from Phish (shocker!) to The Meters, Miles Davis and The Foo Fighters, the band certainly dials in an eclectic mix on its debut album, Hide and Go Seek.

Album opener, “Eternally Incomplete,” a Sea and Cake-esque number, sets a quick tempo. The song abruptly switches gears to a catchy bit about unrequited love. Front man Mike Pedersen has a nice voice and, while songs about love are seldom novel, his lyrics are clever and funny without sounding forced.

“Between the Lines,” a subdued track about love in passing, sounds like an organic version of German rockers The Notwist, with semiotic minimalist strumming and low-key drums.

The disc’s surprising highlight is “Make You Say Wow,” a playful, blues-joint jam. If this wasn’t an impromptu session filler, then the band has me fooled. Lyrically, there’s not much here beyond the title, repeated over and over again. I wonder which came first, the title or the song or . . . whatever.

Displaying ambition I’d usually shun like brother Hezekiah who broke the Ordnung, elephantbear have included “Ghetto Barbie” and a clean-edit counterpart. It’s a move that screams, “Play us on the radio. Please!” But I have to admit, the song is funky and catchy as hell. Having listened to the album nearly 30 times this past week, the double dose of “Ghetto Barbie” is wreaking havoc on my mental faculties.

With crystal-clear production, the tune may sound radio-ready. But that doesn’t mean radio is ready for this. I guess when you layer chocolate on bacon, you can’t expect everyone to love it. But that shouldn’t stop you from selling it.

Elephantbear plays Nectar’s every Monday in April.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Josh Waldman

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Album Review

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation