Review Summary: Record-collector shoegaze.
Elemantra to me, are one of those bands that acts more as the influenced than the influencers. Like record-collector music or something; you can hear lots of different sounds all in one package. The riffage of Dinosaur Jr., the beautiful walls of noise of various shoegaze bands, the synthy melancholy of The Cure, and a little post-metal; it’s all there. Maybe it’s the advent of the internet, but I’ve always loved bands where you can hear their influences as well as a new take on the original ideas. In Elemantra’s case, they’ve released records sparsely and haven’t had the best history in terms of membership. My personal favorite of theirs, Kelly
, was made under poor circumstances apparently. The production was lo-fi, the keyboardist/vocalist who played there is now gone, and the drummer who played there was only there for a short while. Oh, and a hard drive crash led up to this album. But, You Feel Bad About You
is the first thing you could actually call an LP by this band. And, they sound more comfortable than ever.
Almost everything that could’ve been criticized on Kelly
has been fixed here. The production is better, the sound is more consistent, and the band just sounds more comfortable playing together. Kelly
was a very human record with all it’s mistakes, but a more well-put-together follow-up was necessary. They’ve only had pretty much one release so far, and to the outside listener, Kelly
could come off as too chaotic sonically. The overall sound is devoid of skramz this time, doesn’t have too many Melvins riffs, and the gothic rock influence is far more apparent this time. The songs have lots of reverb-y guitars in the background, as well as acoustic guitars, the vocals are slightly distorted most of the time, and the songs are almost poppy in structure. Plus, like I said earlier, the band is just tighter. Everyone sounds like they know the songs inside and out, with lots of syncopation between everything at once.
So yeah, I recommend this. Shoegaze for people who obsessively listen to other music.