Elevant is the Liverpudlian brainchild of Michael Edward – songwriter, vocalist, guitarist and now label boss. Originally formed as a recording project, Elevant has flourished into a band which Edward fronts alongside multi-instrumentalists Tom Shand and Joe Hutchinson, with bass player Hannah Lodge brought in to complete the metamorphosis. Elevant’s self-titled debut was recorded over 5 days, giving it a brash, raw, live sound and follow-up Dreamface, a full-length recorded with the whole band, remains in sync with delivering an experimental heavy sound, to maximum effect. With the record mastered by Pete Maher (Jack White, U2), Dreamface deploys high-adrenaline rock, which may not be suitable for those with a nervous disposition and those averse to indulging in some good ole head-banging.
Opener ‘Open Heart Surgery’ revels in tight guitar riffs, rolling bass lines, and Edward’s frenzied vocals alongside thumping drum beats that amalgamate into a rush of powerful noise – that is until it drops into melodic, cathartic rhythms for about 20 seconds, only to pick back up again. A track that epitomises its title, your heart beat will syncopate and jump out of your chest when giving this a listen. Such unexpected turns are espoused throughout the record, with ‘Nothing’ demonstrating shoegaze at its dirtiest as the intermingling harmonies climax towards frantic loops, only to be stripped back again.
‘Snapshots’ reveals Elevant’s impressive ability to present both light and shade, with every guitar pluck and soft vocal delivered with exceptional timing. Each track progresses in astonishing ways, as ‘Mood Manipulator’ surges towards the heavier spectrum, whilst ‘Implode in Slow Motion’ takes on a dreamier aesthetic. ‘Stress’ similarly personifies its title – frank, agitated and a track sprinkled with some great guitar-bass powerhouse riffs. ‘Dreamface’ concludes on a sonic high, with fuzz and squeals cranking the tempo and aura of the track from tense to damn right disturbed with ‘Good Intentions’.
Despite wearing a heavy sound on their sleeves, Elevant aren’t just Jimmy Page junkies, as the album comes with its fair share of surprises, the subtle texturizing throughout tracks leaving you waiting in wonder as to when the next melody will burst into a kick-ass riff. Elevant have superseded all expectations with this second album, and is incarnate with my other love affair: food. Dreamface is very much like the best made brownies – a hard exterior, gooey middle and that sticky lip-smacking taste in your mouth that you just can’t get enough (or rid) of.