I missed this EP from ‘Elk Locker’ when it landed last year. I wish I hadn’t. It’s absolutely miserable and I love it.
A young 4 piece band from Canberra (possibly the saddest place on mainland Australia IMO) have captured 5 tracks of guitar heavy, melodic post-hardcore tracks which are dripping with feeling and angst. The guys have crafted some really pissed off and really sad rock music that should resonate with any fan of the genre.
I say any fan because they never dwell too long in one space. No sooner has a song landed in the angry end of the spectrum with howls and crashing cymbals brimming with sonic peaks, it reigns it back in and lulls right down. The songs frequently shift and move through different levels of intensity and I guess emotions? For what it’s worth this really harkens back to the earlier breed of post-hardcore when the delivery was about urgency and intensity over technicality and heaviness.
If you ever wished ‘Citizen’ were heavier..if you ever wished Seahaven stayed angry..maybe you’ve wondered what Balance and Composure would sound like with a gravelly hardcore singer? ELK LOCKER have you covered.
I usually hate reviews that start use overt comparisons to other bands like the one I just made.. but i’m doing it anyway.
Opening track (and also the title track) Hollowing’ gives you a great summary of what to expect throughout. The telecaster twang through overdriven amps, the solid Jazz bass that’s sitting right in the pocket, drums mixed with live room sounds and tight lo-mids all come together for a very polished sound which avoids the obvious ‘produced’ feeling. Great in headphones, better in car stereos, the band had Jay Maas master it so there’s a certain polish there.
The closing track ‘Oh Thick Dark Sea’ treads dangerously close to Deftones ‘Be Quiet and Drive’ territory (and a dozen other bands/songs which use that chord shape) but once Azim’s pipes hit the mic I forgive and forget the plagiarism and let it be.
That maybe the one strength above all else that has kept my interest in this band.. despite any comparisons and similarities, influences and obvious tributes, the songs stand up. The rise and fall, the emotions and tension are as good as you’ll find anywhere. I sincerely hope they follow this up with 8-9 more songs JUST LIKE THIS!
Well done Elk Locker. I really really liked this!