In 2015 it was by pure chance and extreme luck that I just happened to be in a bar on the other side of the world when Elephants From Neptune took the stage. I remember from the first chord they instantly took command of the crowd, jolting them into action and changing the entire atmosphere of the bar from a chilled out beer garden into a full on mosh pit. As the story goes they immediately made a fan out of me and I ended up with a shirt and CD to take back to Australia. Ever since then I have been hanging for a new album to come out and that time has finally come.
Hailing from Estonia, the four piece rockers Elephants From Neptune third studio album ‘Oh No’ is without a doubt the bands best efforts yet. Showing their maturity, Elephants of Neptune have stuck true to themselves on the new album showing a real understanding of their own brand of modern riff rock and exceeding all expectations from their previous releases.
For a bit of context here, over their last three records Elephants From Neptune have made a habit of satisfying their fans with ripping guitar solos and riff after banging riff that match up with the 70s best. With a modern catchy vibe and lyrical phrases that beg you to sing along, they manage to take all the best bits of Sabbath and fuse it with the melodic hooks of The Foo Fighters. All in all, Elephants From Neptune have genuinely got one the best understandings of rock and roll I have heard in a long time, so in light of the banging riffs and catchy choruses I am going to dig a little deeper into some of my favorite moments from the new album ‘Oh No’.
It’s a strong start to the album with the first track finding its feet cruising along a slow stabbing and fuzzed out guitar riff. Providing the track with its balls, it’s the kind of guitar riff that makes you want to stretch your bottom lip up to your nose and stamp your feet. At around 2 minutes all this stamping madness gets thrown out the window as the guitars open up the gates of riff heaven to make room for the albums juggernaut of guitar solos. I can see it now, one massive crowd all making simultaneous guitar sounds in unison ‘rew-de-rew-de-rew-de-rew-de-reeeooowwww’.
Oh No is the first single of the album, and as you should expect it’s all about the groove. What I really like about EFN’s songwriting is their focus and exploration of the small ideas that take a simple riff and make it into something larger than life. Oh No is an example of this, while a half time chord progression brings the verse around every four bars, the drums kick along to a disco beat which makes the whole song feel like it’s constantly evolving, getting faster and faster and faster. With the guitar’s focusing on making this song impossible to hate, once the gang vocals drop in the chorus you are cemented into the hook of this song for eternity.
Pro-tip: Without a doubt this the “sing-along-song” of the album so if you’re planning on seeing EFN live, learn the lyrics to this one.
One of the heaviest songs on ‘Oh No’, it wastes no time making it clear that it’s time to bang your head and mosh. Drilling you from the beginning with a riff from hell, it’s really the lead guitar melodies that make this song interesting. Constantly changing with little nuances, the lead guitars phrases really make this song pop. With a massive dynamic range it has the power to make you rage in the chorus while giving you a much-needed respite to keep you up and moshing in the verses. This is the baddest track of the album.
I’ve really only focused on a select few tracks but that doesn’t go to say that by any means that I couldn’t have gone on. While maintaining the raw energy of their live performance, each song is unique and considered, expertly crafted and finessed to a tee making it one of the must listen to albums of 2016.
If you love your guitar solos and flat-out rock and roll, this album is for you. If your into organs, this album is for you. If you love your cowbell? Well then this album is also for you. So sit back and enjoy the tracks and with any luck we will see these four Estonians down under in the near future.
How It Stacks Up
4.1 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ◊
Take ‘Em Out