Prog Archives - Home Away From Home
First of all, I cannot help but make a comment on this Vermont based band's moniker, Elephants of Scotland is a catchy, proggy, hilarious and memorable name for a quartet where 2 members are named McLean and MacDonald, who happen to be the rhythm section! Leader and keyboardist Adam Rabin shows off some appropriate Jewish humor by branding their musical union so humorously!
This is a stunning debut from this previously unknown band, composed of musicians who handle their instruments with confidence and ease. Adam does most vocals and displays a barrage of synthesizers to slippery effect, involving lovely piano segments and Manfred Mann-ish bending solos. Guitarist John Whyte has a slashing Lifeson/Summers style that exhilarates, sizzles and soars while drummer Ornan McLean thumps convincingly, using toms, cymbals and his double bass drums to perfection. Solid, solid, solid! Bassist MacDonald nimbly adds his rumble to the mix, giving a sturdy platform for the others to boom along! Every song is a delight, my only slight disappointment is with the overtly Rush- influenced "Starboard" where Whyte's singing has the same uneven tremble that characterized Geddy Lee's mid-period nasal twang. I mean, I understand that Whyte operated a Rush cover band for awhile but this piece, while having genial moments (the drumming and synths), just does not do justice to the previous and ensuing compositions.
On the other hand, the remaining material is plain mesmerizing! "Geograph" with its genial beat, "Full Power" with its sensational shuffle and stunning soloing , the tantalizingly majestic "The Seed" with its utterly gorgeous melody and sumptuous delivery, the sizzling title track with its "Power Windows" feel, a genial vocoder detail and screaming axe shred. And last but not least, the crown jewel arrangement on the sublime and surreal "Errol McSquisitor", all conspire to startle the unprepared listener into being vaulted into sheer bliss. I was expecting something tasty but this was a very enjoyable ride, indeed.
Fans of Rush, The Police and Saga, sympho/Neo prog fans will lap this up with glee! A great debut! Go get this , you will not be disappointed
4.5 Gaelic pachyderms