Elevate: I Am

The Ghost Eclipse Sessions

Written by: PP on 31/12/2011 06:24:42

You guys remember A Static Lullaby? The screamo / post-hardcore band that released a genre classic with "...And Don't Forget To Breathe" in 2003, before crashing-and-burning with two mediocre follow-up albums "Faso Latido" and "A Static Lullaby", only to release a return-to-form fourth album a couple of years later, but too late for anyone to care? Well their singer Joe Brown and former guitarist John Martinez (now in Lower Definition) formed a new band called Elevate: I Am last year, and released their debut full length "The Ghost Eclipse Sessions" earlier this year. Here's what I think about it:

The same problem as plagued A Static Lullaby in their later albums is also very much present here: relevance. They are playing a brand of post-hardcore that went out in style half a decade ago, going for the classic screamed/clean vocals combo alongside some fairly standard instrumentation for the genre, so it's a completely safe bet that if you eat this kind of stuff for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you'll find lots to like here. But if you've been listening to post-hardcore bands for the better part of eight years now, real innovation and the 'freshness factor' are missing completely. Yes, it sounds different from A Static Lullaby and more like UnderOATH with a more angsty clean vocalist, but it sounds so derivative it's hard to take it seriously. You can argue that the band knows exactly what they are doing, which occasionally results into some mad-catchy tracks like "A Song For Chris", "Chapter 19" and "Captain Iceberg", but it also means there's a bunch of anonymous tracks on the record that sound like they're doing everything right in the genre, but which you won't recall past the point of reading this review.

The good news is that the album lacks the overpolished and overproduced sound that has really turned me off the genre in the last few years. The songs here sound far more honest, raw, and passionate when delivered at a production which is neither mechanical nor ultra polished. Based on how close the clean vocals are from missing their intended notes a couple of times, I'm guessing that the use of autotune has been minimized as well. That's good.

In the end, I might be too harsh on the album because I'm old and jaded like that when it comes to new post-hardcore releases. There are catchy choruses, breakdowns are avoided for the most part, and the dynamics are decent all along. So basically it's a good post-hardcore release. My only beef with is the lack of originality, that's all. Generic is the word that I'm looking for.

Download: A Song For Chris, Captain Iceberg, Chapter 19
For the fans of: UnderOATH, Ten After Two, A Static Lullaby
Listen: Myspace

Release date 07.06.2011
ALF Records

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