Some days I’m in the mood for something slow and ambient. Other days, I want something with more energy and oomph. This Is Not An Elephant is exactly the latter. Their self-titled album is releasing on the 29th of March, and I know prog fans will appreciate it.
TINAE hails from Munich, so you will hear quite a nice European flavor. The band consists of Andreas Krebs on guitars, Randy M. Salo on bass, Florian Wolf on drums, and David Kreisl on lead vox. The band lists acts such as Audioslave, Tool, Muse, and Karnivool as touchstones for fans, and I think that’s a good list.
The music is heavy prog rock with an emphasis on stunning grooves and catchy choruses, hence the list of influential bands. All of those bands have high energy and also high melody along with stunning instrumental portions, and that is what you find here. The band lists alternative rock as part of their “genre”, but I hear pop-punk, emo, and new wave influences in there, as well.
The rhythm section is truly in your face, as Randy and Flo put down some seriously meaty performances, maybe even some of my favorites this year so far. Andreas’ guitars often hang back for proceedings that are more atmospheric, and I love that, too. Most of the songs climax in highly commendable fashion, and you will find lots of moments to head bang to throughout the album. You will notice, also, a certain amount of humor and playfulness in the lyrics and song titles.
One thing I’ve observed about the songs on this album is that each one seems to take a minute to find its footing. So, while the song might seem a bit off at first, it will finish with flying colors. Also, if I absolutely had to level a criticism, I would say that David strains his voice to reach high notes a bit too often, though I would also say he does a great job of drawing us into his melodic world. I really do love the angsty tone he conveys, too. Overall, the harmonies are on point.
Every single song here has a dynamite groove. My favorites tend to be packed with unadulterated energy, though. “Icarus” has an infectious central groove, and the instrumental near the end is pure fire. “Maintaining a Healthy Level of Hate” grabs your by the neck immediately with an awesome jam. “Silverdime” sucker punches you near the end with sheer awesomeness. “Moonhunter” might be my favorite on the album, though. It is slightly more ambient and atmospheric than the rest of the album, and the harmonies on it are beautiful.
TINAE have debuted awesomely. This album has the energy, fun, and chops to compete with the big boys, so to speak. They also harmonize and emote very well, with David giving the music real feeling. These guys have big things ahead of them, I am sure of it.
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