Elle Milano- acres of dead space cadets.
You can’t help but wince every time a band find themselves in the “Indie alternative rock” genre these days, as the possibility of being brainwashed by typical three chord shizzle has evidently grown in stature as seconds pass.
Elle Milano however begin their debut album “Acres of dead space cadets” well, with big beat Panic! style opener ‘Laughing all the way to the plank’. The threesome subtly make heavy criticisms and sarcastic references throughout, setting us up nicely for the rest of the album. The beauty of this track lies in its apparent urgency that in fact is portraying a slow, uneventful and aspiration-less career.
Financial strains, dreams and life’s modernisation are continual themes from Elle Millano, pronouncing themselves as poetic dreamers. At times, fast choppy vocals can be compared to those of Billy Talent, but in big numbers such as ‘Carousel’ Adam Crisp takes these skills and furthers them into pretty good range, an indie frontman who can so no less?!
Test Icicles hints are also evident on many occasions throughout the album, especially in ‘My brother the astronaut’. Yet unlike their predecessors, Elle Milano have the ability to engross the audience in their tracks through intelligence and wit as well as the messy, noisy post punk structure. This number is actually my favourite. The Brighton boppers describe the psychological trauma of war, and the irony and naivety of the English government. Yet, you wouldn’t know it first off, as the rhythmic guitars and infectious melody allow it, at face value, to be brilliant musically as opposed to lyrically. It is only when you listen closer; you really appreciate the beauty of the beginning of the album.
The latest release ‘Meanwhile in Hollywood’ has been referred to as the albums best track, but I disagree strongly. Its radio-friendly appeal is granted, yet the depth of the lyrics and its tendency to branch into tedious pop, lets it down; bordering on ordinary.
And it’s fair to say these guys aren’t ordinary by any means. Slightly sinister perhaps. The band touch upon Young Knives in tracks ‘Stepkids in love’ and ‘Katsuki and the stillettoed stranger’, following the ever popular indie structure yet managing still, to put their own stamp on the record. ‘Curiosity killed the popstar’ is an ever familiar dig at the music industry and the vulnerabilities of signing to a record label. The album dies out as you reach the end, but a stunning string arrangement on ‘The nightclub is over’ prevent Ell Milano from whittling away. This alone shows their ambition and inability to lie down and accept that their music won’t meet the masses without huge funding.
Signed to Brighton Electric, the boys are touring day and night promoting the album for a massive bang on release day 14th April. I strongly recommend the purchase. Elle Milano have given us everything, politics, dreams and addictive music. It undoubtedly has its moments where the naivety creeps through, but these moments are few and far between. Check out their myspace for tour dates; I drool at the prospect of live performances of tracks such as these beauts. A band with a female bass get my vote everyday.