This band hit me like a freight train the very first time I heard them play at the Troubadour in West Hollywood some months ago. Since then, I have remained in hot pursuit of all of the material I can get from Elemental. I recently obtained the band’s a devastating 4-song demo, The April Sessions EP, from their sweet-as-pie manager (Thanks, Blaine!), which compelled me to jot down a few feelings about this music for the rest of the world to read.
First of all, Elemental is not your typical 4-piece rock band. There are influences from a wide spectrum of bands and genres including Metal, Industrial, 70’s Glam, and Classic Rock. If you listen closely with a trained ear, you will even hear strains of Bob Marley-esque Reggae. What sets this band apart from many who are out to reach one-hit wonder status or those that merely get lost in the rap-rock gene pool are: one – the sophisticated quality of their songs; two – the absolute devotion to their music; and three – the energy and drive behind creating and performing it.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Elemental are truly a song-oriented band. This is apparent from the first moment the opening track hits you in the face. It is time the rock world prepared itself for something a little tastier, and this band has got just what it takes to cook it up for us. Now, let’s talk about those songs, shall we?
Pins and Needles begins by blowing from the speakers and filling the atmosphere with nothing but sound. “Pins” is probably the most sensual of all of the tracks on the demo, making it that much more appealing to my female ears. The likelihood that this song could become a chart-topping single is practically a given. For once, this is a single from a record that the listener wouldn’t be burned out on hearing after three listens. Personally, I cannot get enough of this song.
On “Pins“, Erik begins with an explosive intro vocal, smoothly transitions into a purring, breathless whisper, then effortlessly back again. The way this song is arranged, and the result is something special that makes the ears (and the “nether regions”) absolutely tingle. Not to mention the way it comes across in a live setting. Agro (bass) and Doug (guitar) back up Erik’s skilled vocal work with a teasing, deliberate crunch that is complimented by Anthony‘s throbbing and original drum stylings.
The song Crutch is another impossible to ignore ear-pleaser that combines some sweeter guitar and flowing vocals with those devastating Elemental signature twists and turns. Erik’s varied vocal abilities and wide range are truly spotlighted on this track along with the manic talent of Doug on guitar. Doug is an absolute rock and roll machine, and an outstanding live performer. He and Agro are definitely a guitar and bass force to be reckoned with on Crutch. The song itself is a fluid, emotional follow-up to Pins and Needles and could just as easily fall into the next single slot for Elemental. (Look at me, already planning the band’s career for them!)
The appropriately-titled Burn is a song that literally sizzles from the get go. Burn incorporates a spicy, reggae flavor with delicately blended vocals and some of Anthony’s crashing, complex drums. It is a short, sweet song that will leave you warm inside with the memorable, beautiful chorus lingering long afterwards.
Rock roots never die, and this is the band’s heaviest track. Elemental is definitely one band that throw down live, in the studio and even at rehearsal. This is a true rock band that gives their all to the cause. With their feet firmly planted in the soil of chunky guitars, a crushing attack of drums, a dose of that guttural growl and a balls-out anthemic groove, the last track entitled Elemental is a raucous party that ends this 4-track demo with a bang.
Elemental is destined for great things. Keep your eyes and your ears open. And for chrissakes, be sure to catch them live when you can! This is one ticket you will be grateful that you purchased, but I must warn you; Elemental is addictive to watch! Screw your favorite TV shows. Set your VCR because you’ll soon find yourself planning your nights around their show schedule.
Rock fans are about to be seduced by some undeniably great music that no one with any real taste for rock and roll will be able to dismiss. For more information (you know you want it), check out UnEarthed.com’s live photos and coverage of Elemental’s industry showcase performance at the Whisky. You can also visit the soon-to-be-remodeled band site at www.elementalnoise.com.