Review Summary: Elvis Jackson take it up a notch, without losing the playfulness that made them so appealing in the first place.
By their fourth album, the Jacksons are hungry for some attention from abroad and as indicated by their single Not here to pray, they're not fooling around anymore, even hiring Faith No More's Bill Gould to produce the album. Well actually there's plenty of messing around throughout the album, and it's actually good to know that their energy and playfulness have remained pretty much intact.
The band has become known for melding hardcore, ska punk, metal and reggae, this time around though the ska elements take a backseat and the metal and hardcore elements tend to be presented more often. Buda, the band's singer, is the driving force of the band as well as adding charisma and a great voice to the ballads and heavier songs alike. The lyrics are not particularly inventive, the majority of time they're feel-good, uplifting and surprisingly easy to sing along, which in this case is not a bad at all.
The opening title track Against the Gravity starts off with a rather unpromising metal riff, but quickly settles into a friendlier punk rock song. Still the fast beat never backs down for a second and represents the direction in which the band is going rather well. If you're still not convinced by the band’s energy, the next track Wake Me Up! should well...wake you up.
Songs like Sweet Perfection, Salvation and The Burned Out Flame flow in a similar vein as the first two tracks with the exception of the last one being more true to their punk roots.
There are also quite a few slower songs on the album. The ballad This Time is a standout , and does not become cheesy even with the added cellos. On the contrary, it sounds very genuine. Street 45 is the more melancholic track; on the other hand Dry Your Tears is guaranteed to cheer you up, when you're feeling down.
The most unique tracks on the album are the heavy A Glass Of Tequila and the quirky Boyz And Girlz. The first one, not intended to be taken too seriously, is a short metal outburst, while the second is actually far more interesting and is at times even a tiny little bit...dare I say...Mr Bunglish.
What Took You So Long is another superb ballad not too different from This Time, and does a great job of closing the album. There's also a hidden track actually at the end, which finds the band playing a death metal song with vocals that sound reminiscent of the chicken vocals found on Biffy Clryro’s earlier records. I can't help but to feel this track is a bit unnecessary after the inclusion of A Glass Of Tequila, but it's all in good fun.
All in all Elvis Jackson don’t bring anything especially new to the table, but they pull of their sound extremely well and I think they might appeal to a wide variety of listeners. Even if you don’t end up loving the album, I’m very sure it will at least prove an enjoyable listen, mostly because you couldn’t possibly hate this band even if you wanted to.