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Album Review: The Elementalists – Crazed Maniac

By on Tuesday, 19th August 2008 at 5:33 pm

The Elementalists‘ fusion as a group is really apparent in their album ‘Crazed Maniac’, the beautiful blend of hip hop grime, rock, with a sweet synthesis of electronic extras and a set of decks thrown in for good measure does beautiful things to one’s senses. From the outset the listener’s attention is captured, starting with the tongue in cheek ‘Talk to the hand’ all the way through to the dark gothic sounds of ‘Reel 68’ the group are able to maintain not only their hunger for the right fusion of each member’s efforts but do the same for their audience.

One literally sits on the edge of their seat with ears pricked, eagerly anticipating the next guitar solo from the more than capable Stu Brew. And when their not being tickled by his fingering of his instrument, Brew’s sweet delectable strumming compliment the lyrical delivery of the lead vocalist Elmo to form a musical marriage to be proud of. The mêlée of musical moment makers sets this album up as well as the group for hopefully a wonderful future.

The soft rock style of their second song ‘Bad Times’, shows another dimension to Elmo’s vocal capabilities, highlighting to their audience that he is more than your run of the mill UK mc trying to ‘make a difference’ with his lyrical ability. He caresses the track with raspy chords and choruses until he is ready to hand the baton over to KRL on the decks, who handles them well for a brief minute before inviting the whole group to join in the jam session. In an instant you are thrust into a jazz infused bar, and your foot starts a tapping and soon after you notice your head is nodding hard to the beat that speeds and slows until it reaches its final crescendo.

I love the line in ‘Crazed Maniac’ – “wearing corduroy even though a new style of jeans is in”. possibly sums up the approach of the group as a whole, they are far from conventional, streets away from the nearest, grime, meets soft rock, greets jazz, says hi to blues and please don’t forget the introduction of synthesised sounds concoction out there. The list of sounds included on this album is a testament that there really are no conventional boxes to squish this group into, the minute you get comfortable with an approach, take the soft infusion of jazz and blues on ‘Pills’ and before you know it your senses are being rocketed out of their comfort zone and catapulted into the dark grime and gothic sounds of ‘Reel 68’.

Within this song, you are left not quite knowing what to do with your listening faculties, do you allow the guitar bass and swishing drum beats soothe your person or are you chilled to the bone by the manic laughter that manages to crawl all over your senses. Just as you are about to decide an infusion of blues style guitar strumming is introduced to the track and your body is jolted up by the concerto of dramatic yet directed drumming, accompanied by some serious deck manipulation. There is no opportunity to rest on your laurels with this track, your senses are forever being manipulated, your preconceptions challenged and by the end of the listening experience, all you can do is sit back, exhale and then start again.

Very few albums can be listened all the way through, let alone be put on repeat just to catch what you missed the first time around. Their hunger resonates throughout each track, the question in anticipation of their next album is; whether they plan to iron out these kinks that are somewhat reminiscent of the classic crackle you hear on an old school LP. Rather than hold on to their hunger and harness its energy will they favour for a smoother sound?


MIA / Pre-Christmas UK Tour

By on Thursday, 18th October 2007 at 5:14 pm

MIALondon based rapper MIA has announced a string of dates just before Christmas. She’ll play two London dates as well as 7 around the rest of the country.

Tickets go on sale tomorrow (19th October) at 9am.

Saturday 8th December – London ICA
Monday 10th December – Birmingham Custard Factory
Tuesday 11th December – Newcastle Digital
Friday 14th December – Brighton Concorde
Saturday 15th December – Bristol Anson Rooms
Monday 17th December – Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Tuesday 18th December – Manchester Academy 2
Wednesday 19th December – Norwich Waterfront
Thursday 20th December – London Coronet


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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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