Review Summary: Get the gross image out of your mind and enjoy....
Bands like Hot Cross and The Fall of Troy were hugely influential in the early 2000’s contributing to a sort of paradigm shift in the way post-hardcore can be played. Combining a progressive hammer-on/pull-off heavy style of guitar playing and more free range drumming with a huge decrease in riffage, conventional time signatures and simplistic song structures resulted in a spastic, technically savvy sound which fit right in with the high energy mood and feel post-hardcore was known for. Bands like Dance Gavin Dance and its sister group A Lot Like Birds, while not as proggy as either The Fall of Troy or Hot Cross have been successful emulating this framework. Californian quartet Hail The Sun may fall more smoothly in with the DGD comparisons musically, but don’t mistake this similarity as a ripoff.
is an example of the best that progressive post-hardcore has to offer, excellent song writing that holds attention and beautiful execution from the members of the band. The meatiest portion of this offering comes falling off the picks of the guitarists. Fans of this brand of post-hardcore have heard guitar play similar to this before, and while this fact doesn’t serve to draw in any new or jaded listeners, that doesn’t stop them from being any more amazing. Intricate, noodly progressions are utilized in tandem with lightly distorted riffs used by the likes of DGD and ALLB to create a myriad of feeling. Elephantitis
is indeed a collection of songs rather than a cohesive effort but this serves the band well. Somber, melodic tunes like (the awesomely named) “Testostyrannosaurus” and “Dark Messages” are pulled of just as well as the overtly energetic rest of the EP and does nothing if not build anticipation for the eventual full length.
Keeping with the theme of well executed, we come to the vocals which sadly due to the sheer impressiveness of the instruments can lead some people to think they should be omitted from the group altogether. However a cursory listen reveals the vocals not only pull their own weight both in the harsh and soft departments, they are integral to the band’s sound. Comparisons can be justly drawn between this and others like Tilian Pearson or Anthony Green however the piercing quality these two sometimes exhibit is thankfully absent in Elephantitis
. A strong voice can go a long way for a group in terms of sound. A weak voice trying to do the harsh vocals or the crooning passages here can easily give out in a couple years. Thankfully this is not a problem for Hail The Sun as one can really hear the weight behind both the screams and the actual singing.
a scant couple years ago could be rightly described as a breath of fresh air for post-hardcore. The fame of other similar bands makes this description frankly false but that’s not taking anything away from what these guys have provided here. This can be described as, however, complexity spooning with melody in the seedy hotel of aggressive post-hardcore and while you may have been here before, the soiled linens are just as comfortable as ever.