CD Review: It’s Elephant’s — Gets Along

ItsElephantsGetsAlong It’s Elephant’s

Gets Along

By Julia Reidy

The danger latent in having a frontman with such a
recognizable voice — in this case one with a crackling, blues-rock bent that
bends and scoops from pitch to pitch — is that everything else will go unnoticed.
But Brent Jay’s vocal performances, for Atlanta band It’s Elephant’s, are only
a small part of the story. Behind, under and all around them are other things:
confident guitar riffage, adorable and well-placed backup singing, moving bass
lines, bright horns, bouncing piano and insistent drumming.

All these abilities have congealed into the quartet’s
sophomore full-length, Gets Along, a
mashup of related but individual song styles, down to a final track utilizing
the type of electronic voice made famous by Radiohead’s Ok Computer. The band has evolved light years in the time since
last year’s Little Trouble in Chinatown,
even if you’re only considering production value. The hardcore twinge to their
compositions has largely evaporated (save for a few bouts of screaming; see
“Black Cock Down”), replaced instead with smart pacing and clean, crisp
arrangements that allow all parts to be appreciated equally (see “Sam Loomis
Hardware”). It’s a smart move for It’s Elephant’s, because what they have over
others in their genre — we’ll call it “blues pop” — is the effort they put into
layering their complementary parts atop one another.

Most tracks on Gets Along share a similar quick-ish pace and bright attitude, but
“Trees In The Road,” the album’s sixth song, sports not only a tempo change but
a change in timing for the whole album. The fast B-section demonstrates the
band’s versatility; they can change direction on a dime, ending up
almost … peppy.        

And it stays that
way, even if the subject matter is dark, or if the key is minor. “I’ll make a
sound with a promising chord,” Jay sings on “Better in ’77,” and they do. No
matter the character of the song, each one drips with promise.

It's Elephant's play The EARL for their album release party on June 26. Tickets are available at Ticket Alternative.

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