Band: Elevate: I Am
Title: The Ghost Eclipse Sessions
Released: June 9th 2011
Label: ALF Records
Producer: Steve Evetts
Elevate: I Am was born from the ashes of A Static Lullaby, Lorene Drive and Of Machines. Musically, it’s fairly generic post-hardcore/screamo that actually sounds very similar to A Static Lullaby’s last album Rattlesnake! You can expect Joe Brown’s (A Static Lullaby) signature, raspy screams in the verses and the obligatory contrast of cleanly sung choruses to follow each one.
To clarify, there’s nothing wrong with this formula, but since it’s been in existence for many years, it takes flawless execution to make it seem interesting. You would think that a collection of post-hardcore veterans, such as these, would understand this more than anyone else, but after hearing The Ghost Eclipse Sessions, you soon realise that they haven’t grasped this concept at all. My interpretation of the ‘screamo’ formula is that the verses must be heavy and aggressive; the choruses catchy and impressive. The clean choruses here are just flat, bland and unmemorable and as for Joe Brown’s screaming, if you’ve ever heard any A Static Lullaby records, then you’ll have heard him scream these verse patterns many times before. There’s nothing new here to report.
I find it difficult to understand how an album like this could ever hope to find its way into somebody’s ‘favourites’ list. I can’t imagine somebody hearing this and declaring that “this is brilliant!”, or rushing off to play it to a mate. What irks me more is that the members of the band are extremely capable musicians – they’ve proved this with the other bands that they’re affiliated with. Talented individuals like this should come together to create magic, not be content with churning out the same standard, generic output that you can find being produced by any teenage high-school band who’ve heard a few screamo bands and want to have a go.
I should point out, for balance, that there’s nothing really wrong with these songs. Everything is played well and the production is good, but for me, that’s just not good enough. These chaps are scene veterans and they should be able to come up with better quality than this. Basically, if you put three Michelin-star chefs in a kitchen, you’d expect better than beans on toast for dinner.
This album gets a low score for two reasons: 1) to make an example of ‘super-groups’ like this who seem content with churning out sub-standard work and 2) because I’m annoyed that I spend money on this band based on the pedigree of its members alone, rather than being sensible and listening to a few songs first. A mistake I won’t be repeating!