Elfin Saddle - Ringing For The Begin Again
There is something slightly off about these tunes, a little bit of madness that creeps in. Broken instruments found in junkyards, and accordion, seem to provide the bottom for all the tracks, though there is percussion, guitar, the occasional addition of double-bassist Nathan Gage, etc. It is that slightly ajar foundation that makes "Ringing For The Begin Again" a challenging but memorable release. Elfin Saddle is a duo of installation and video artists Emi Honda and Jordan McKenzie, and they use their experience with found objects, odd juxtapositions and visual painting to musically isolate much of the same territory as in their art.
Banjo, bells, vibes and Honda's acquired taste vocals (most often sung in Japanese) add further challenges to accepted notions of rhythm on tracks like "Running Sheep" and "Sakura." McKenzie's vocals on "The Hammer Song" and "The Bringer" are more powerful and straight-on, though the musical impressionism is no less compelling.
It is on "The Living Light" and "Muskeg Parade" that the band's path comes home to roost. Both these songs are deeply rich in tempo changes, genre-bending mash-ups and beautiful sonic colors. These two songs have a good deal of genius in them.
At just over a half hour, "Ringing For The Begin Again" is a tease of brilliance from a band that will surely stun us again and again. Elfin Saddle wants to take you higher.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.