The Majestic Twelve are another band that are pretty acoustic-heavy, but are able to infuse their music with a style, talent, and humor that is all theirs. Spinning electronic threats into their first track, “Soylent Green”, which mesh well with the vocal timbre present on the track. Taking a one-eighty with their second track, “I Don’t Have A Job”, speeding through the lyrics in a way similar to Michael Stipe’s delivery on “It’s The End of the World As We Know It”, but filtering it through a light coat of seventies pop-rock. Doubling the vocals on this track, the band just fills out any vocal baldness that could be found. While “Never Disappear” is another track that follows logically from what Majectic Twelve have laid down with the first few track, nothing much new is added to their repertoire with, except for the impeccable handclaps and nascent bass line. Sliding slowly into a rut with their next few songs, Majectic Twelve are by no means failing with “Busy Work” ; it in fact is a catchy song but again, does nothing to further the experience on the album.
“Sweet Patrice”, the halfway mark for the album, shows the stirring of in the cockles of Majestic Twelve’s heart, as they create an extremely emotive, piano-lead, jazz-influenced tracks. Mixing Husker Du with Jimmy Eat World for the building furor of “This Chevrolet”, weak drumming is the only thing that pulls this track from something resembling perfection. Finding the last bit of reserve in their body, Majectic Twelve create a true pop gem in “Livin’ On The Beach”, incorporating mid-nineties alternative rock vocals with even earlier nineties California rock. The humor that made the beginning tracks so memorable is restored during “Livin’ On The Beach”, encapsulated in the lyrics “You see the chance for relaxation/I See the chance to steal your wife,”
“Searching For The Elvis Knob” is an album that is good, but does goes through a few minor misses in terms of immediately catchy and classic tracks. The Majestic Twelve does not know what it is to create a bad song – the nearest they get to that is a solid track that isn’t as good as “Livin’ On The Beach” or “Soylent Green”. Coming out a much-maligned tradition in indie-rock, where so many acts put out pieces of garbage as an album, to see something like “Searching For The Elvis Knob” gives me faith that the genre is not completely dead, and may even be on the rebound.
Top Tracks: Livin’ On The Beach, Soylent Green
Majestic Twelve – Searching For The Elvis Knob / 10 Tracks / 2002 Self-Released / http://www.wefestival.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / Reviewed 19 April 2004