Release Date: June 7th, 2011
Label: A Lullaby Factory
Website: None available
Elevate: I Am is a band that features members of A Static Lullaby and Lower Definition, these being John Martinez and Joe Brown. The influence of said bands is obvious from the very start, with the post-hardcore/screamo riffs and the combination of harsh and clean vocals, not straying too far from anything they’ve done in previous bands.
Even though there’s nothing new here and it isn’t one of the best albums you’ll ever hear, and could even be one that you’ll hate after the first listen, it is well produced and the band play a style of music that they’re obviously comfortable with. They don’t try to do anything different than what they set out to do, and this begs the question of whether this is a good thing or bad. On the one hand it’s a good thing because it will please the fans of their previous projects, but it is also bad because it shows they’re stuck in one genre and, personally, I’d like to hear something different than what we’ve heard from them before.
Stand-out tracks are: ‘Captain Iceberg’ – the vocal style in this song is slightly different than on the other tracks, and the music isn’t quite as repetitive. It’s more post-hardcore than screamo, and this is what makes it as good as it is. It’s also got the feel that it will be better in a live environment, and the chorus plays it self on repeat in your head long after the song is over. ‘Codependent Carcass’ is another stand-out track, and it’s the closest Elevate: I Am get to sounding as aggressive and emotional as they obviously could be. The vocals verge on hardcore, but then they become screamo in a matter of a few verses, and it works well. The lyrics are one of the highlights of the song, along with the tight-sounding bass-line: “Do you see me? / Oh, do you see me? / The one you laid callused hands over / And did you drink? / Oh, did you drink? / No, Daddy doesn’t touch me when he’s sober.”
The only other track that is worth listening to is ‘More Ironic Than Alanis’. The riff is really impressive as it veers away from the other instruments, and is almost banjo-sounding and it leads the way throughout the track. Even though the clean vocals aren’t as good as they could be, the screaming makes up for that as the anger becomes clear when these vocals are used. Gang chanting is also used and it makes a nice change than just using the same type of vocals, as it shows the band using some variety in their sound. The breakdown is the heaviest on the album and this, combined with the gang chanting, results in a very strong end to the song.
Sadly though, all the other tracks are flat, boring and just don’t make the cut. If Elevate: I Am had released their best moments into an EP, it would have been a much wiser move and would have made a very good release, but it seems as if they’ve crammed this album with fillers, just for the sake of releasing an album. Time for the members to go back to their previous bands.
Written by Rhys Milsom
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.