Kentucky’s Elsinores’ debut album Dreams Of Youth was a dark, tense, explosive body of songcraft, showcasing a fully formed creative sensibility, that might be difficult to top – and yet one mere year later they’ve fulfilled all that early promise by neatly sidestepping the curse of the Difficult. Second. Album. with “New Forms.” How did they do it? From the sound of things, listened to a lot of postpunk, drank a lot of coffee and did a lot of midnight wandering down deserted streets in grey raincoats. Cigarettes optional. Elsinores circa “New Forms” are bleak and cinematic in scope.
The lineup has solidified around the Oasis-brothers-but-not-shitty (Or the for real Ramones? Dunno, but their interplay on and off stage can be comedy gold) tandem of Joey and Jon Elsinore handling vocals, guitar, and bass and the permanent addition of West Virginian wildman J. Marinelli on drums and vocals. So you’ve got an unhinged new spin on the “power trio” lineup with everyone bashing away gleefully and physically at the same time AND three vocalists.
Like all old goths, I’m hearing everything from early Cure circa “17 Seconds,” to Merchandise, to Echo and the Bunnymen (esp “The Cutter”), to Misfits, to Chameleons and Husker Du. And despite that disparate set of influences, and probably even more I couldn’t detect lurking in the respective Elsinore and Marinelli vaults, this is a incredibly cohesive album-as-album. Brittle guitar lines, liquid silver basslines, the Danzig croon of Joey Elsinore, frenetic cavestomp drums, doo-wop-goes-punk style backing vocals, and then weird, dubby experimental breaks,and a wide-eyed appreciation of silence and space in the songs.
Everything fits neatly and fully. “New Forms” is nervy as fuck and accidentally anthemic in all the best ways, where you’re not really trying to rally anyone because you kind of hate everyone, but it happens anyway when the tunes are THIS good.
- Untitled I
- New Forms
- Letting Go
- Open Your Hands
- Untitled II
- Lost Language
- Thoughts and Words
- Push and Pull