More Sounds From Spaghetti Westerns (Aware Records)
By: Alex Steininger
There are bands that can do folk really well, but struggle at rock 'n' roll. Then there are bands that struggle at folk, but can rock out in a moment's notice. Red Elephant don't really nail the folk, or the rock. But, they manage to combine the two. And, while not masters at either, their hybrid sound gets the job done and then some.
"Waxman" proves that folk doesn't have to be quiet; and that it can indeed rock. The deep, modern rock vocals burn over the light percussion, while the soothing cello eases all unsettling thoughts. The guitar soars along, all while the bass grooves with steady rhythm.
"Ironside" begins with a very 'indie rock' guitar riff before exiting the 'indie rock' for what seems to be building modern rock excitement. Then the folk crashes down on you and the song takes on a new face.
"Mean Clean" throws a quirky curve ball down the folk pipe (a la Dave Matthews with intensity); "Using St. Francis" thumps along; and "Mad Hatter" becomes the band's calling card with their modern rock, folk, and quirkiness all garnering adequate spotlight time.
The band doesn't add anything new to the rock or folk genres. But, it does mesh the two well, which is rare. As such, is worth listening to once, twice, or longer. I'll give it a B-.