Elefant – The Black Magic Show (CD)

At first blush, I was not aware that this was a Kemado release. With the last few Kemado albums, a harder sound than what is heard on “The Black Magic Show” has been present. However, after the track has a little time to work on a listener, they will too understand the reasoning behind Kemado releasing this album. Elefant blend together a number of diverse style, with hints of Blue Oyster Cult, Rush, and The Cure all making large claims on the band’s sound. At some point, each of the tracks on “The Black Magic Show” could be on a classic rock radio station.

For example, a song like “Sirens” bring listeners back to the eighties, replete with the omnipresent synthesizers of “Subdivisions”-era Rush. However, where the band links itself to the present is the presence of hints of the angular dance genre, a genre that has adherents in acts like Franz Ferdinand and The Bravery. Much like a layer cake, the vocals on the track act as a blend of XTC and Pink Floyd; individuals will find something to like on this track just as they will with practically any song on “The Black Magic Show”. “Lolita” will elicit memories of songs that will stick on the tip of listeners’ tongue; everything that is present during this track is so familiar, yet this is a completely new track. With this track, individuals will be unable to do anything else besides bob their head in the method employed by the gang during the dance scenes of “A Pup Named Scooby Doo”.

When “The Clown” starts, individuals are unsure whether something that resembles a Cure or Wham song awaits them; the style of track that finally issues forth does not work in that paradigm at all. In a sense, this is what bands like the (completely horrid) Deadsy should have done with their “Commencement” album. With bands like Elefant and The Sounds, the eighties are rapidly becoming something positive in music after the paradigm that said that the eighties were devoid of good music finally broke down owing much to the decreasing influence of grunge music. Elefant come through with a number of different styles during “The Black Magic Show”, but does not let their eclecticism be a reason why their album is disjointed. This is a very connected album, from “Black Magic Show” to “Don’t Wait”. For fans of eighties music, dance-punk, rock, and perhaps fifty other genres.

Top Tracks: The Black Magic Show, Lolita

Rating: 7.6/10

Elefant – The Black Magic Show / 2006 Kemado / 11 Tracks / http://www.elefantweb.com / http://www.kemado.com / Reviewed 25 April 2006


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