Saturday, 12 March 2011

Random Review #29 Big Elf - Cheating The Gallows

C2S3CD7 Think we need to get one think very clear here, Big Elf are a bit mad, their real names are, Damon Fox, Duffy Snowhill, Ace Mark, and Steve Frothingham (Froth) which is strange enough in the case of Ace Mark but for the album they are called Professor Diablo, Sir Oliver Leftee, Commodore Kreivi  IV and Sergeant Major 710 respectively and I guess this sets the tone for the album, it’s a bit mad!

If you mixed up Pink Floyd, T-Rex, Black Sabbath and Queen with a dash of pantomime then you might get close to how Big Elf sound and if that sounds strange well it is, but strange in a good way. I like bands like Black Mountain and The Mars Volta, who play unstructured (to my ear) rock music that disappears in different avenues  of rhythm and seem to weld 3 different songs into one but make it a really  exciting and fresh. I think this is why I bought this Big Elf album that and a good review in a magazine.

There is a lot of Queen in this record String Quartets, an Orchestra (The Gallows Orchestra obviously) but I have to make it clear this music is original (as original as any music can be these days). I have listened to this album a lot this week and have enjoyed it more and more as the week went on, I think when I first bought it I thought it was a little too heavy for my tastes but I have  realised that’s not the case, and the album has a lot to  like on it. 

Superstar is a pure pop song that sounds like T-Rex, Blackball is epic and changes direction about 3 times throughout its 7 minutes of madness. The album closes with Counting Sheep an 11 minute masterpiece that has Pink Floyd written all over it.

Linda Perry is involved doing backing vocals on a couple of tracks, and if you don’t know who she is, she is one of the top songwriters  for hire in the music industry and was originally the main force behind the 90 band 4 Non Blonde's who had a huge hit with What’s Going On. 

I definitely need to be in the mood for this album however if you like any of the bands referenced in this review then I’m sure you will find something to like on here.

Mark 8/10

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