Terrace of the Elephants is an alternative rock band located in Bristol, UK that convened after an encounter in the pub, and have now evolved to the point of putting out a rather long eponymously titled album Terrace of the Elephants. Retaining a relatively simple sound, the band does a good job of layering their instruments in a delicate and melodic fashion, providing their listeners with an honest and comfortable approach to rock music. Although a bit rough around the edges, I think that Terrace of the Elephants is an enjoyable, easy listen that could be strengthened by a bit more originality.
My favorite thing about this album is, admittedly, the guitars. On just about every track, whether they be acoustic, electric or both, there exists a strong sense of melody and groove within the guitar parts. Additionally, I think that, for the most part, the guitars carried the melody through each song, which is both good and bad, as at times I felt that they over-shined the vocals. Normally I would be absolutely fine with this, however because the guitar melodies were as strong as they were, and the vocals were a bit lackluster, there was an odd contrast.
To improve this, I think the band should work on more properly interacting between the guitars and vocals. In my opinion, the guitars should stay as they are— in my eyes, stronger vocal performances would have taken this album to the next level, as the guitars are already there. In my own experience, I have found that writing vocal melodies on the guitar can work, especially when the sense of melody that is found within the guitars is so strong. Honestly, I would love to hear an instrumental track from the band.
As far as production, I have to say that it is pretty solid. The album sounded light with plenty of space and everything was clear. I really enjoyed the clarity and ambience that the background vocals on the album added to the overall sound, and the strong production in fitting those into the mix definitely allowed them to flourish.
In the future, I would really like to see the band go in a more original direction— by this, I mean that, throughout the album, it sounded a bit to me like they were confining themselves to traditional song structures and rules, however at times I would also hear them really going beyond that. If Terrace of the Elephants really embraces their weird side, they could see a lot of success. The way that their music moves is very solid, so the talent is obviously there— I guess now it just depends on their direction.
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