With a re-release via the excellent Texas independent Psycho A-Go-Go Records, Long Gone the debut album from Indiana cowpunk/psychobilly band The Elixirs returns to exhilarate and exhaust the world with its riots of passion driven energy fuelled rock n roll. The release is a nineteen track bonanza of contagious eager to devour slices of often bruising, occasionally provoking, and always thrilling adventure, the songs seeded in the devilry of horror, outlaw infamy, and salacious rock n roll roguishness with an impossibly infectious temptation from start to finish across the whole album.
The sound of The Elixirs brews up a 100% proof fusion of rockabilly, punk, country, and psychobilly with plenty of other rich additives such as punk and blues bringing their potent flavourings to play too. It is a sound which has marked the band out since forming with the album set to be with justice the trigger to the widest recognition and awareness. The beginnings of the band began with The Stumblers in mid-2007. Formed by vocalist and then bassist Dan Tedder (moving to guitar later in the story) with drummer Joe King and guitarist Dan Savage, the band progressed without really getting anywhere. The following year saw Tedder and King step forward with a new bassist as The Boneyard Elixirs, the trio playing as often and as hard as possible. A seemingly constant battle to find and hold on to bassists followed whilst highlights in their live events accompanying the period as well. The band by now simply The Elixirs next released the EP Gut Cuts with help from Gas City Records. This was followed by the departure of another bassist in Dewayne Hughes who had been with the band for well over a year over their most successful time to that point. 2011 saw Whitt join the band with for the first time an upright bass entering the equation. The recording and mid 2012 release of their debut album followed to strong responses and acclaim which the re-release this year will only accelerate. The story is not quite settled as since the album King left the band to be replaced with the sticks by Dave the Dudeist in the late fall of last year. Hopefully a settled period in members will allow the band to exploit and leapt forward from the might of what will be the first impressive introduction to a great many in the stirring shape of Long Gone.
The album opens up its charms with Water and Bread, a track with psychobilly sinews and melodic rock n roll endeavours speared by the delicious bass call of Whitt. Though it is not the most urgent charge to start the album, the song has a bite and prowl to its hunger which intimidates and seduces with pure primal potency. The vocals of Tedder drip expression and passion from every syllable passing his rapacious lips whilst his guitar equally sculpts an enslaving temptation proving irresistible not only here but across the album.
The following title track swaggers in with a vibrancy which awakens the senses even further whilst its catchy swing and anthemic chorus badgers a full compliance from the listener. It is an easy to ride song leading into firstly the wicked tease of the loping country punk hooked Tits Deep and the first of the highest pinnacles reached by the release in Cry For Me. The latter of the two walks into view on a Cramps like abrasive discord, the building stroll niggling mouth-wateringly on the ear whilst the beats and bass persuasion is a merciless repetitive invitation to song and heart to which there is no defence. The core of the song would not be out of place on the classic Songs The Lord Taught Us release with the Gas City trio bringing their own unique extensions for an individual flame of excellence.
Across the likes of the country twanging Pleasure N Pain, the sixties punk spiced 17-12, and the darkened rockabilly crawl of Soul, the album ignites further fires of ardour towards its presence even if the tracks compared to others are only merely outstanding in comparison to the genius like statures of the two songs sandwiching the third of the three mentioned as an example. These tracks, Torn Rose and Sea of Lies are two more overwhelming beacons within the album, the first bursting from a gnarly confrontation into a roaming charge of biting riffs and enslaving rhythms, a near runaway train of Gene Vincent like garage punk, whilst the second is a horror punk/psychobilly blaze of raucous and coarse grained rock n roll, and both a match to the passions.
Every track deserves a mention to be honest, songs such as Dangerous Ways with its Sex Pistols riffs and Cramps squall, and the predatory death dance of Cowboy Rot feasts to devour but with the closing stretch of the album it’s most impressive, songs such as Park It On the Lawn shout for attention. The track is a carnivorous stalking of the ear with insatiably rubbing riffs and matching ravenous intent from drums and bass, its virulent groove and consuming energy illegally addictive. Its staggering presence is closely matched by the likes of the smouldering croon of Misery, a fifties seeded rockabilly siren of a song, and the brilliant Faster Than Hell, the string plucks and slaps of Whitt the bait for another full on enticement of epidemic proportions.
Long Gone is an exceptional album, a skilfully crafted seizure of the heart with nothing less than undiluted pleasure and inciting rascality in tow, as evidenced by a final boost of potency with the voracious Loser, another contender for best track, and the closing cowpunk stomp of Asshole. Thankfully we have all got a second bite at grabbing this outstanding album, only a fool would pass on or miss out on The Elixirs a second time.
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