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The Elephant – KCR 013 The Elephant

The Elephant
KCR 013 The Elephant
by Dave Nowels at 08 December 2019, 2:30 PM

I have to give THE ELEPHANT due credit, the approach of using just bass and drums might not be new to heavy music. After all, there's BELL WITCH and YEAR OF THE COBRA and likely other duos that don't come to mind as readily. But, the approach of utilizing two basses and drums as a trio, well that's pretty unique as far as I know. That's what we have with THE ELEPHANT and their debut, “KCR 013 The Elephant” released via Karma Conspiracy Records in October.

Italian trio are all old friends from Pesaro hat united for this project that fformed just recently in 2018.
Mud Song” a slow lilting intro song that explodes into “River”. Sludgy bass mixed with heavy stoner blues, and a pounding rhythm via Marco Sanchioni . Throw in a more than occasional PRIMUS vibe and that's what we have here. The bass work of Giovanni Murolo and Marco Catacchio is very forceful, distinctive and mostly cloaked in distortion. It's caustic, artful, bizarre, but somehow intriguing enough as a whole. “Deep Down Tale” sees guitar like runs thundered more than effective, making one realize a guitar simply would only get in the way here.

“Catfish” manages to take on the identity of an old bottom feeding monstrosity quite well, and the focus on a southern blues constant, rivers and everything they sustain. All the songs I've mentioned to this point follow that theme, but it's only a portion of what the trio communicates. Much of the lyrical content borrows liberally from several poetry greats, and over the course of about 35 minutes or so, we see THE ELEPHANT circle back to the muddy water themes via William Blake, Henry Michaux and Dylan Thomas and their paeans. Vocals are like the bass, distorted, caustic and reminiscent of Les Claypool with a smidgen of Neil Fallon's swagger and Glen Danzig's threatrics. Doesn't sound like an idea mix, but it certainly fits right in with the musical themes.

I enjoyed my run throughs of The Elephant's “KCR 013 The Elephant”, but I have to admit after two or three listens I felt like I had gleamed all I was going to get. For lack of more fitting words, after a few listens I felt like it became a bit too cumbersome and lethargic. That's not to say it isn't a good record, or memorable. It most certainly is. I'm excited to see the path THE ELEPHANT continue on, and definitely will look forward to future releases and any chance to catch them live. I have a feeling that seeing them live is like opening the Lost Ark of the Covenant and melting faces.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 5
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Mud Song
2. River
3. Quicksand Morning
4. Black White Alice
5. Monkey Demon
6. Catfish
7. Summer Blood
8. The Stoker
9. Walk With The Sun 
Giovanni Murolo – Bass & Vocals
Marco Catacchio – Bass & Vocals
Marco Sanchioni – Drums & Percussion
Record Label: Karma Conspiracy Records


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