God only knows how many meant-to-be-forgotten secrets are buried and hidden at the bottom of the lake. Well, the devil might know to and take some responsibility/credit for them being there. Chicago’s Emperors and Elephants bring 2014 the best from the bottom with a crane-hook drenched in swamp muck and a fresh new fist-thrown mix of Alice in Chains grunge with some volume from the Sound Garden of Eden. Adding a bit of bright lit neon sunset sleaze to the vocals, dipped right out of the LA gutter left smeared on your ears. Jesse Andrews has some Steelheart in his lungs as he ranges and rages from Chris Cornell to Dream Theater. They finally let the man out of the box and he’s a pissed off, stark raving mad lunatic.
Formed in 2010, gathering momentum in Chicago and the surrounding area their song “Your Will” was featured on area rock stations 105.5 The KAT and WIIL Rock. The track gained so much attention from WIIL rock listeners they were invited to play an on air performance.
Drawing influence from 90′s grunge, blending that influence with the current hard rock scene this unique combination gives them the edge of paying homage to classic acts, while blending sounds of today not found elsewhere.
With the addition of former Texas Hippie Coalition guitarist Randy “The Arsonist” Cooper, they’ve put the finishing touches on their debut album “Devil in the Lake”, to be released by Pavement Entertainment this month.
“Bring It Down,” a down and dirty, ugly, mean riff machine with thudding bass boom and opening sly vocals, snarls like the loud killer blues with big guitars. “Who You Are” opens mid-water, slowly deepening, drowning in thick aqua riffs. Your lies disease you, get ready for the fall out.
“Your Will” begins with soft-spoken angels from the keyboards and James Labrie’s dreamy vocals with electro-effects. A battle of the band’s sound between electro-techno beats and a rock hard stiletto-heeled kick in the dirt with a gypsy scarfed smile.
We enter the emerald cyber-kinetic industrial forest hand in hand with the “Man of God” as hungry, angry guitars pile drive us into petrified trees, dragging us towards the lake. With some vocally biting disturbed content played Fear Factory style. They’re flies and insects in the speaker static as the music starts hammering out with plague-like intent as Layne Staley’s resurrected on “Locust” and them bones are thrashing out hard.
“Hit of Red,” a modern day blazing power ballad, goes comfortably unplugged… for a minute before whistling a blues noted sneer into the lighter filled arenas of west coast decadence. The boiler room machines awaken as creepy long guitar notes carry you with a hard fist-bashing into the “Dead Sleep,” thrashing your neck and eardrums like scraggly, gangly nightmare fingers.
“Change” tag teams subtle acoustics with sweeping, searing guitars. It’s been done before, by Chris Isaak, but they do it better than ‘Him’, storming the beach with a biting chainsaw guitar, shredding palm trees. What a wicked way to play, to make us feel this way. What a wicked thing to do, to adrenalize and upgrade this tune.
The old record player starts the vocal hooks on “Ghost in the Mirror” reflecting down that empty hallway of fear. It’s a twisted fairy-tale vanishing in the last moment of sleep. The dream is over, the unconscious fantasy land, gone in ‘the wake’ like Alice in the box through the cracked looking glass. Alice’s in Hell searching Never Neverland after something wicked came.
“You and I” ends with a classical open heart confession. The “Man of God” super-tech remix floats to the bottom of the lake, another lost secret, hidden treasure to be discovered…. later.