Elias
Fossils


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jonny Hunter CONTRIBUTOR (103 Reviews)
March 21st, 2012 | 10 replies | 1,475 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Frustrating to the extent that it's so close to alt-rock perfection.

The only way a review for Fossils could ever lead is to one of constant comparison. Between an introverted mind and a desire for anthems; between European and American ideas of how a song should be built; between what a band are and what they should be. In part, this constant back-and-forth can be attributed as growing pains for a band teetering into the limelight, but it’s hard not to believe that the band haven’t matured enough already. Fossils is a brilliant album, with flashes of the kind of true excellence you’d expect from a band in their prime, but too often a whole song is unravelled by a weak chorus or lifeless production.

As a counterpoint to all the no doubt discouraging points in the rest of the review, I hold up “Hold the Line”: the final and most successful song that can be found on the album. It begins as a fairly standard (though admittedly still great) American pop-rock ballad as Healy’s vocals crone over weeping guitar, whilst keyboards masquerade as strings. Slow, uplifting choruses; romantic lyrics; the lot. This would be all well and good, if only a little dull, were the song not to suddenly crash into a stunningly morose outro. In that single instance, the entire song develops a wealth of depth that both encapsulates and justifies the mourning tones preceding it. “Hold the Line” becomes the best ending that Fossils could hope for, and if only the whole album was on the same level then it would be among the best of our generation. It’s not. And that isn’t to suggest that the other songs aren’t just good, it’s only that at times the band seem to be deliberately hamfisted. “Enough” seems so bashed into a standard alt-rock-song template that’s it loses any character it may have intended to have. Similarly, “Knockdown Dance” would be wonderfully dark and atmospheric if it weren’t for an incredibly mis-matched, tone-destroying chorus.

This is where the clash between European and more local styles of music comes in. In their biography, Elias confess to heavy brit-rock influences when growing up. The mark of bands such as Muse and Radiohead are clearly visible in both the sheer expanse of some of the tracks and then the almost morbid lyrics; with the album even beginning with “when the archaeologists dig up our bones, will they wonder what happened to me?” The development the band offer on these influences becomes a bit of an issue, however, when they try and display this to their peers over the pond. Elias seem hellbent on making the kind of pseudo-”generation defying” anthem that’s been produced repeatedly to the point of exhaustion. How can you make an anthem out of a song focussing on death and decay? I know that you can - Elias do rather a good job with it - but the principle behind it is rather baffling. It results in a song that works very successfully until you try to explore it too thoroughly.

Despite this, as a complete album Fossils still manages to be a lot of fun to listen to. It’s initially catchy, yet well crafted enough to hold your interest afterwards. The flashes of excellence are certainly good enough to cover a couple of more mediocre patches, and the album manages to vary a staggering amount considering how it boxes itself in with creating easily identifiable music. Elias have passed up their chance to create an album that everyone will adore, though what’s left isn’t much worse by any means.



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user ratings (1)
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 21st 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Oh gee, look, it's that guy who listens to weird experimental, ambient stuff. I thought he really
didn't like most radio-friendly rock? But he's given this a 4?! That's a high number, maybe I should
check this out..."

You should. Stream: http://waxrecords.com/player/eliasfossils.shtml
You need to copy+paste that link for it to work

Also posted at: http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/

CaptainDooRight
March 21st 2012



28353 Comments


yeah it is high

if I don't typically like altindie will i found enjoyment here. is there anything new here or just good alt indie

Digging: Tukaaria - Raw to the Rapine

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 21st 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not really anything new, no. Music like this can never really go above a 4 for me. Probably should be a little lower but whatever.

silentstar
March 21st 2012



2231 Comments


Hey! this sounds pretty nice so far, I'm really liking his vocals. Usually, indie vocalists have this weird kind of vocal style that I can't really get into, but this one's nice.

CaptainDooRight
March 21st 2012



28353 Comments


cool, well good review, pos

prolly won't check

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 21st 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's cool man.

ThroneOfAgony
March 21st 2012



3485 Comments


Pretty good review, but a few minor issues

"as an complete album"

should be 'as a'

"The mark of bands such as Muse and Radiohead are clearly visible in both the sheer expanse of some of the tracks and then the almost morbid lyrics;"

Reads a bit awkwardly

But great review nonetheless

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 21st 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers, I'm kind of falling asleep on my keyboard now so I'll fix it all up tomorrow.

ThroneOfAgony
March 21st 2012



3485 Comments


I know how that is haha

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

mmmmm



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