Elephants in Mud / Machinery&Scene&Sound
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At release number three, Fort Wayne’s Elephants in Mud seem to have found a place just for them. They’ve located a strange little corner of the world that only they reside in. It’s filled with jangly guitars whistling notes that are part blues and part indie screech. There are those dub beats that can get a crowd moving and running for their lives within seconds of each other, and there’s the tortured growl/croon that tells the twisted tales that narrate the tunes. On album closer “Foxes (Slight Return)” they start out with a My Morning Jacket-esque reverb-drenched moper, something that rightfully sits at the end of a great record. Then, halfway through, the song fades, and in comes some David Mamet dialogue spoken by Sir Anthony Hopkins. Speaking of manly things and killing bears and such, the song kicks back in to slap us around for the final three minutes before kicking us out of the car and taking off into the night. Welcome to Machinery&Scene&Sound.
For young dudes in a still-young music career that’s seen local accolades, Battle of the Band triumphs and two other local releases, these muddy pachyderms have done a hell of a lot in a relatively short time. “100 Year Rest (Champagne Cadillac)” seems to encapsulate everything Elephants in Mud have been working to refine for the past couple years. This opening track has plenty of dirt, crackle and grime to give it a shady vibe, like that guy standing in the shadows of an alley saying “Psst … Kid. Come here.” Then “Down, Down, Down” comes in like an old doo-wop song as covered by Surfer Blood. Lots of great pop finesse and head bopping power going on here. “Release the Hounds” sounds like Sublime covered by Weezer. This is a summer jam, ready for the cold beer and barbeque. “The Heavy Midwest” has a 90s alternative vibe with just the right amount of expletives to make you blush when listening with grandma. I’m reminded of the long defunct Chicago alternative band Dovetail Joint when listening to this song. (It’s okay; no one else remembers them either.) “Pleased as Punch” brings everything down a bit. A bit of breather before that insane David Mamet-fueled closer.
It seems Elephants in Mud have found a place to call their very own, and it’s called Machinery&Scene&Sound. Be sure to check it, and them, out at a record store and stage near you.