With a spring tour around the UK mere days away, British alternative/pop punk band Elessar set the scene and tone with their debut EP, Reflections. It offers five tracks of infectiously appetising and thoroughly enjoyable rock ‘n’ roll which might not be bursting with major originality but certainly gives the listener a fun and rousing time; a success never to be sniffed at.
Formed last year, the Gloucestershire-based Elessar soon invited attention with video/single Arrogance that May. Its line-up consists of school friends in Ricky Powell (vocals/guitar), Alex Evans (guitar/vocals), Jack Gambling (bass) and Dan James (drums), and it is fair to say that the quartet took little time to hit and earn a potent reputation on the local live scene swiftly expanding outwards from their first steps as a band. The Reflections EP is the outcome from the band working and recording last year with Romesh Dodangoda (Funeral For A Friend, The Blackout, Kids In Glass Houses), a release seemingly a long time in the unveiling from that first single but soon revealing the rich potential of Elessar.
It opens with that first single, and straight away Arrogance has ears welcoming a sturdy wall of hungry riffs and swinging rhythms. Things relax a touch as the vocals step forward though grooves still engagingly flicker and hooks bite through the guitars as those initial rhythms continue to command attention with their tenacious and weighty persuasion. Hitting its stride in no time, the song soon offers a contagiously rousing chorus and an enticing mix of varying intensity and eventful twists; all fine elements in the anthemic proposal that body and voice cannot resist getting involved in. It is a great start and easy to see why the track made people look up last year, and a success potently backed by the following likes of My Skin and Holding Back.
The first of the two shares a more melodically tempting lead into its proposition though again bass and drums unite to create a formidable spine and thumping drive for what becomes an increasingly fiery encounter unafraid to ebb and flow in attack and raw energy. Holding Back, in comparison to the almost imposing drama of the previous track, unveils a pop catchy character to its vivacious dance with ears and imagination. Hooks and melodies leap and lure like flames in the track’s robust fire, licking at the senses rather than burning them but asking and earning attention with every enjoyable twist and turn.
On the surface a casual listen finds a similarity between the songs on the EP, but deserved focus provides the window to some stylish and emotively fired individuality. Empty Frames is a song though which needs no extra effort to see its uniqueness; punchy beats and a brooding bassline the lure into inflamed melodic enterprise and spirit arousing energy accentuated by a subsequent drop into minimalistic moments of vocal caresses within an evocative ambience.
Goodwill completes the EP with its strong and captivating presence, though it does not have the same kind of effect on personal tastes or the same level of creative drama as its predecessors even in a certainly dynamic body. All the same, the song is a fine end to a release which suggests that Elessar warrants real attention, certainly if bands such as Taking Back Sunday, You Me At Six, and Lower Than Atlantis ring your bell.
The self-released Reflections EP is out on CD and Digital Download April 22nd via iTunes and other stores.
Elessar Spring Tour:
27.04 – Manchester, Factory
28.04 – York, Fulford Arms
29.04 – Newcastle, Space Bar
30.04 – Leeds, Eiger Studios
01.05 – Stoke, Underground
02.05 – London, Nambucca
05.05 – Cheltenham, 2 Pigs
06.05 – Cardiff, Undertone
07.05 – Truro, Charlies Bar
08.05 – Exeter, Cavern
09.05 – Birmingham, The Rainbow
10.05 – Bristol – The Louisiana
Pete RingMaster 22/10/2016
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