Elliott Brood – Ambassador (CD)

The back and forth sound of the opening strains of “Twill” is not much to excite individuals. Sure, there is a classic country type of sound that is dominant, but the dreamy vocals of Brood on this track do not really inflame listeners and cause them to listen in further. It is only when the guitars begin to tell a story when listeners begin to be roped in to “Ambassador”. The epic nature of “Twill” is something that could spell disaster for Elliott Brood as well, but the guitar and drum work present on this track is largely what keeps eir head afloat. There is a certain drive to this instrumentation that will make individuals listen in for all of the 380 seconds that this track runs.

The rest of the tracks on the disc are considerably shorter. This is noticed first in the two and a half minute long “President (35)”. In this track, Elliott Brood is able to go forth and come up with a much more compelling and almost bouncy track. There is still a heavy country influence to this track, but with a sort of indie mentality that gives a wider base of fans the ability to appreciate the music. By far, the oddest track on the whole of “Ambassador” has to be “My Friend”, with a set of vocals laid out that do not match the instrumentation much at all. In fact, it takes a good half minute before the instrumentation finally kicks into gear, matching the output of Brood. Elliott Brood is a very distinct band, and it is not surprising to hear something completely different play on “My Friend” than was on any other track on this disc. “My Friend” eventually settles down into something that is actually catchy in an apocalyptic country sort of way.

”Jackson” is a much more sedate sort of track and Elliott Brood finally allows listeners to hear and understand the band’s talent, rather than going everywhere they can in the shortest time available. I could completely see Elliott Brood being signed to Gnomonsong (Devendra Banhart’s label) or something equally storied. The band’s output may be shaky at times, but there is never a challenge to the band’s ability. As the disc spins on, there seems to be a more cohesive attempt made by the band. This means that everything from the second half on is much more compelling than earlier tracks.

Top Tracks: Johnny Rooke, Jackson

Rating: 6.2/10

Elliott Brood – Ambassador / 2006 Six Shooter / 12 Tracks / http://www.elliottbrood.ca / http://www.sixshooterrecords.com / Reviewed 22 January 2007

[JMcQ]

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