Ship of Fools – Elephant Stone (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

a1774044024_16Embedding psychedelic past glories and eastern classical vibes into a modern looking musical vehicle is hardly a new idea, but rarely has it been done this successfully. Taking west-coast 60’s psychedelia, acid laced pop and Bohemian soundscapes and then threading them all together with classical Indian vibes has created the perfect blend of occident and orient, western structures and music traditions tempered with the freer and hypnotic sounds of the east. And done so perfectly.

Often this is the territory of nostalgia but thankfully the craftsmanship here is too clever to get suckered into the, lowest common denominator of hippy dippy cliché and instead Elephant Stone is a headier, trippier, more intense, deeper and sometimes darker place to be. Even when they play it straighter on tracks such as Photograph, it is the song itself that shines out, not the retro trappings they use to build it.

 
This is not a backward glancing, pastiche or mere recycling of ideas, this is an appreciation of those times for sure but more so a desire to take the experiment on into the future. Oddly enough, despite its obvious reference points this is still a band centred in the here and now, one who are looking towards a brighter new sunrise rather than raging against the dying of the light of The Summer of Love. In short whilst you can see where they are coming from, what is more interesting is where they are going. Occidental tourists indeed.

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About Dave Franklin

Musician, scribbler, historian, gnostic, seeker of enlightenment, asker of the wrong questions, delver into the lost archives, fugitive from the law of averages, blogger, quantum spanner, left footed traveller, music journalist, zenarchist, freelance writer, reviewer and gemini. People have woken up to worse.
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