Based in California, Elk Grove is an ambient rock band that is committed to playing as much music as possible wherever, and whenever they can. Preparing for a tour in September and a future full-length album, Elk Grove released Pale Blue, a nod towards Carl Sagan’s book “Pale Blue Dot”, an EP that has been two years in the making.
The opening track of the album “Margot” begins with smooth, atmospheric guitar riffs and a subdued percussion intro that slowly builds into an uptempo groove as the lead vocals lay down the melody over the rest of the soundscape. After a brief, soft verse, a rolling bass riff and impressive drum fill lead the band into the rest of the song, now aggressive and edgy, featuring full-voiced notes and powerful chords from the guitars.
The epic feel of the first song is guided towards a slightly more intimate mood in “Come Alive,” an extremely harmonious power ballad that juxtaposes wistful chording with solid percussion and dynamic strumming on guitar and bass. Even as the volume peaks with screaming and electric chords, the raw emotion of the song is not lost.
“Go Back Home” highlights Elk Grove’s technical music ability with its alternative rhythm patterns and complex, quick riffs. The energy of the song is relentless, and throughout the instrumental and vocal portions, the band communicates its enthusiasm and fervor, which carries even through the end of the song as it slowly ends in a slow, beautiful fade.
The now-familiar atmospheric guitars of Elk Grove open “A Sense of Urgency” as far-off voices belt out a melody in the background. Rapid cymbals usher in the full band as the voices make their way to the center of the sound stage. Finally, the grunge-infused electric guitars and more gravelly vocals take over and the song reaches its full potential before fading and re-surging again.
“Let Go” echoes the rest of the album in its musical qualities, yet this song seems to gather up all of the band’s leftover energy and pours it into one final six-minute track. The emotive singing and powerful instruments dominate the listener’s ear and mind, leaving a significant impression at the end of the album. Overall, Pale Blue is surprisingly mature and diverse musically, and Elk Grove is undoubtedly on its way towards more great accomplishments in the near future.
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