Song in the Air
I miss Elliott. Yes, it's taken my lazy ass so long to review this that the band has since broken up, but in all actuality, I missed them before that. Like pretty much right about the time that the last note on Song in the Air faded out. It was at that point that I realized that the Elliott of US Songs and False Cathedrals no longer existed and would thus rock us no more.
Of course, this is due in large part to the fact that half the band was replaced between Cathedrals and Song. Gone are the huge Quicksand-like riffs; in their place you will find more ethereal, expansive guitar work. The songs are much more subdued, as well, although there are some sporadic hints of Elliott past ("Land and Water"). This is definitely a much more experimental album, and that's not totally a bad thing -- lots of the band's fans will probably love it to death. I just liked Elliott so much in their previous incarnation that this came as a bit of a disappointment, although it is in no way a bad album.
I did manage to catch the band on their final tour, by the way, and I found myself enjoying the tunes much more in a live setting. That was enough to keep me interested in the band, but unfortunately it now looks like we won't find out what the next step would have been, for better or for worse. (MHo)
(Revelation Records -- P.O. Box 5232, Huntington Beach, CA. 92615-5232; http://www.revelationrecords.com/; Elliott -- http://www.elliottintransit.com/)
Brother/sister duo Eux Autres is one of those bands that you will love at a first listen. The Oregon-based pair, Heather and Nicholas Larimer, play music influenced by '60s-era French pop and good old North American indie-rock. Their sound is very reminiscent of a more polite and cleaner version of The Moldy Peaches, while their simple drum beats and guitar chords bring The White Stripes to mind. Both brother and sister sing while they play their instruments (him on guitar and her on drums), and I couldn't imagine a set of vocals that sounded better suited together than these two.
Patrick Nil is the band's newest three-song release, and one listen had me feeling like I was falling in love. I felt warm and fuzzy listening to title track "Patrick Nil," while "Carolina!" had me smiling the whole way through. The vocals are both clean and raw at the same time, while the melodies are often reminiscent of Bellingham's The Pale. The last track, "Le Projet Citron," with its appealing backbeats and catchy chorus line, was all I could think about for days straight. Definitely my favorite of the three tracks, "Le Projet Citron" showcases all that the band is capable of. With an ending half in English and half in French and vocals that vary from high-pitched screams to spoken word stylings, it makes it plain that a full-length release from this duo would knock people's socks off.
All it takes is one listen, and then your head is popping and your heart is fluttering. Eux Autres is a band that you just want to hug and kiss, and there is no doubt that you will fall in love with the duo's cute indie-pop songs. So give it a try. (NK)
(Eux Autres -- http://www.indiepages.com/euxautres/)