Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Reviews:: The Elwins EP


What is it about an ear pleasing, electric jangle that slinks up and down the fret board? Is it that the notes seem so simple everyone assumes they could play them or is it that anyone who’s ever picked up a guitar knows that combining those notes successfully without feedback and backing instrumentation is a remarkable talent? Either way, when bands like The Elwins put together those beautiful electric notes with light drums and the cool demeanor of a front man like Matthew Sweeney, it’s hard to not enjoy the results.

Their self-titled debut EP shows substantial polish, not something you find in young bands (especially not from a two-piece). They never push the riffs too far, understanding that subtleties are more important than brash guitars and cymbal crashes on these types of songs. The UK-cool saunter of tracks like Larry Pastorus shuffle along, complete with catchy whistles, and makes it hard for me not to think about Supergrass; not because of the sound but because of the fun loving, harmless nature the duo exudes.

The EP opener, Dear, Oh My, is full of “woah is me” bad luck, unfortunates like rain fall and trouble with his girl, but they all seem to roll off Matthew Sweeney’s back. It’s refreshing to hear a singer realize that the melodrama that plagues most artists is nothing more than an inconvenience for the majority of people. Even as he croons about “a lover that has no one” on Kristy May, the pleasant tones that accompany the sentiment make you wonder how broken up about the whole situation he is.

His biggest concern is being too bored to really do anything (Time to Kill Time). The mature realism that The Elwins present is great, especially for someone that made it past high school and university and understands that maybe that crush that ran you over isn’t actually the end of the world. Remarkably the light, summery sounds actually make you feel better about life in general, and help you put the little shit behind you.

If this EP had closed its doors after four songs, I’d have been impressed but the quick hitting album closer, Only Friend, shows the band can experiment with bigger sounds and faster tempos without losing the listener or the relaxed vibe they’ve created in the first four songs. All in all (even with Sweeney’s penchant for the mundane), this little EP is certainly enough to get me excited about The Elwins.

Posted at 3:30 PM by ack :: 6 comments

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At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Kevin did sayeth:

Fantastic and accurate review!
I have seen these guys live a bunch of times downtown Toronto... and they are AMAZING!!! I can't wait until everyone can buy their EP everywhere. These guys are definitely going to hit it big.
Check out their MySpace to listen to their songs and leave comments.


At 3:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

wow these guys are cool!


At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

these guys are fantastic, don't forget the drummer. for a two piece these guys have it going on. im surprised a label hasn't snatched them up yet...


At 10:18 PM, Blogger Cam did sayeth:

man, these guys are awesome! that's really all there is to say.


At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

They got it goin on, so different than anything out there.....creative, catchy and interesting. Great review, very accurate!


At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Jon did sayeth:

I've had the privilege of playing
a few shows with them, and seriously
they are on of my favourite bands
in the world. The songs are just so brilliant, I'm finding it disturbing that a label hasn't swooped in and grabbed them!


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