Avant-Garde EP

Written by: TL on 24/12/2012 14:33:33

There's no shame or secrecy involved when you first enter "Avant-Garde", the debut EP by Oregon quintet Elenora. From the hyper-melodic guitars and the oft-changed rhythms over the classical piano and high pitched cleans to the bursts of heavyness and screamed backing vocals, bands like Dance Gavin Dance, Circa Survive and Closure In Moscow are obviously in Elenora's DNA. That of course, is entirely okay with me, being a great big fan of each of those bands and all, but at the same time I have tracked down a great number of bands trying to similarly carry on their torch, to always remain apprehensive when a new one comes along.

That said, if "Avant-Garde EP" should turn out to an early indication of what will become trendy in the muddled post-hardcore scene, that would not be entirely un-okay with me, because many of the ideas flashed by Elenora on here are quite promising. The classical samples, although at times a little melodramatic, add texture and intrigue to a soundscape that keeps the pace changing and keeps the balance between melodic and heavy firmly in favour of the former. Singer Alexander Prescott is not yet the next Jonny Craig or Anthony Green, but by varying his melodies from the Chiodos-ish theatric to the Craig-ish r'n'b-esque he at least comes off as a more ambitious singer than many others who front more famous bands than his.

I'll forgive him then, for sounding a little shrill on occasion, also because the musicianship on offer here is so nice and varied, and because producer Ryan Furlott has guaranteed a pro-sounding mix and atmosphere. Furthermore, there's a good handful of moments offered here, which are a joy to come upon on repeat listens, like the sexy opening to first track "Bedfellow", the badass Closure In Moscow-ish guitarwork of "Lost In The Sea (Intimacy)", the sliding vocal melody in the chorus to "Rome Is Where The Art Is" or the forceful refrain of closer "Star-Crossed Lovers".

Now, there's no doubt that by now there are scores of bands already trying to perfect an art similar to what Elenora are working with, and that to stand out among them these guys have to come up with these sparkling little moments even more consistently. Considering how I can't listen through "Avant-Garde" without feeling like I'm definitely going to hear it again soon, they are off to a pretty decent start however, and I'll surely be interested to see what they come up with next, even if I say that same thing about the myriad of bands I've tried to fit into the "For The Fans Of" section below here. No comment on the audacity of calling the EP "Avant-Garde" though - Let's just let that one slide okay?

Download: Rome Is Where The Art Is, Star-Crossed Lovers, Bedfellows
For The Fans Of: Dance Gavin Dance, Circa Survive, Emarosa, Closure In Moscow, Icarus The Owl, Secret & Whisper, Violet
Listen: facebook.com/elenoramusic

Release Date 10.08.2012

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