Album Review: ELEVATORS TO THE GRATEFUL SKY Cape Yawn
Going into this review I didn't know a whole lot about Elevators To The Grateful Sky other than that they are on HeviSike Records who are, admittedly, a pretty kickass record label. What blows me away about Elevators To The Grateful Sky's latest release, Cape Yawn is the breadth of the sound. There is a little bit of everything here – and though the band pass through a gauntlet of freaked out and stoned vibes rock and rollers across the globe are going to find something concrete on this album. As the group guides you through their distinctive soundscapes this record is going to keep you coming back and exploring the fascinating little nooks and crannies that arise when your instrumentation is this eclectic.
Though yes, the use of keyboards and saxophone on this recording is unorthodox, the band also features three lead vocalists and a huge variety of drum sounds. They bring in tribal elements and world drums in order to help make Cape Yawn almost as much an experience as it is an album. The heavy trips represented in a song like 'Mountain Ship', with its extended weird guitar passages helps to represent what this band really stands for. You find yourself getting lost in musical explorations worthy of Hawkwind or aural landscapes that wouldn't feel out of place on an MC5 record. Elevators To The Grateful Sky aren't just worshiping times forgot though, there is something distinctly 2016 about what they are doing here that allows us to delve deeper into the souls of the music.
My main complaint about this record is that it feels far too long. There are thirteen tracks here and they each have distinct ideas behind them. Though they might all fit into the same vibe it gives you a hell of a lot to digest in one spin. As opposed to their musical predecessors who might have gone with a few long form tracks, Elevators To The Grateful Sky spill their guts in just over forty five minutes of glory. It makes the album a bit more dense than I think that it maybe should be. On three quarters of an hour doesn't seem like a lot, but when you're listening to an album that features this many distinctive elements it can be a little tricky to fully grasp everything that they are trying to accomplish.
Don't get me wrong, Cape Yawn is full of good times, there are a handful of balls out rockers here that help to cement Elevators To The Grateful Sky in reality. So while it might be a good choice in the long term for the band to get bring their sound down to earth they remain surprisingly fun. These guys are clearly extremely talented and watching them evolve over the years is going to be a lot of fun. There are few records that fuse sprawling ideas and rock and roll as well as this one – it gives us a path forward. Now it's up to you to take the first step.