Review: Elk Gang- Hours Pass (Anti-Manifesto)

Posted: May 18, 2016 in Reviews

Hours Pass cover art

Elk Gang hail from Edinburgh, Scotland and play what they call “melodic hardcore.” But sometimes that label is a cop-out for bands that just play loud and shout. In the case of Elk Gang, the music is reasonably melodic, but the vocals aren’t. Not even close. They try to be, but I can’t get past the fact that they’re mostly out of tune. Trying to shout and sing at the same time is quite a skill that not everyone can do. Here, it just doesn’t work for me. It’s really a shame, because there is some good music in some of the songs (though, not in others). “Let’s Have The Greatest New Year Ever” has really nice indie/post-punk instrumentals in ¾ time, with the guitar playing an arpeggiated line and the bass and drums clicking off the time like clockwork. But the vocals that are part shouted, part sung out of key, kind of spoils it.

Most of the album, as I said, is somewhat melodic, in the sense that there are recognizable chord progressions, and all. I wouldn’t really classify it as hardcore, though. It’s more along the lines of post-punk alternative music, save for “Join A Local Sports Team,” which has some pretty crunchy parts to it and a pretty quick tempo. “Forgive & Forget,” the album’s opener, has some pretty cool stop-start stuff going on in parts, and “Are You The Keymaster” is something that will satisfy skate-punk fans. But the bulk of the album is basically forgettable, and the vocals unforgivable.

PS

Check it out here: https://elkgang.bandcamp.com/releases

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