Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mighty Elk / The Peep Tempel

Pony Bar – Friday 28th Jan 2011.
The Tote – Sunday 30th Jan 2011.

A couple of months ago I received two mp3’s from a mate who fronts another band you should have heard of, Mammoth Mammoth, he had a new band and they'd recorded a couple of demo’s in their rehearsal space. Now, those that know me know I don’t stuff around when it comes to music. If it sucks, I simply wont bother. If it rocks, I’ll follow those sounds to the ends of the Earth. After only hearing a few bars of Hurricane, the first thing I said was “these guys should support Monster Magnet.. actually no, Monster Magnet should support these guys!”. This was for me the birth of Mighty Elk. Blasting psyche and stoner soundscapes freaking out of the speakers and taking over the room. From the get go you could tell there was something amazing going on.

Mighty Elk locked in their first gig for Sunday 30th of Jan as part of the Gasoline fest at The Tote with a host of other awesome bands such as the Peep Tempel, Kids Of Zoo, Spencer P. Jones and Hytest (I hope guys your weekend turned out better than it started!).

A last minute call up brought their first gig forward and threw them into the 2nd slot at the Pony the Friday previous and what a way to pop your live cherry! It was a blessing to be a part of something new and exciting. Everyone in there was blown away by what we were hearing. From repetitive stoner riffs blending into psychedelic overlays and right into straight up shit hot rock, Mighty Elk are talented and here to kick some arse!

Elk singer Mikey is more known for his crazed wanderings off stage with Mammoth Mammoth, swinging from lighting rigs and bars on windows to writhing around on the floorboards amongst the punters. Mighty Elk is clearly seen as a completely different entity and treated as such, as it should be. He is more focused and calculated with his vocals and the effects he throws into the mix. Adding another dimension to the band with the psyche sounds which at times are oddly hypnotizingly beautiful and haunting and at others they drop off and the balls in your back pocket vocal style comes back up front.

Simon’s guitar style and sounds are some of the best I’ve ever heard. He draws you in and although it’s probably not too far off what you’ve heard before there is something mesmerising and just that little bit different that makes you know this guy is the real deal. He’s born with it and possesses a natural ability to make everything sound killer. I’ve also seen him play bass… he’s got the inbuilt rock!

There is no bullshit with Adam’s drumming technique, just thundering grooves that get your entire body behind your foot when you’re tapping along. He’d fit right into any band having a desert generator party and he gets a fistful of sound out of what seems like little effort.

Campbell seems to like hiding in the shadows but his bass stands out with the rest of the band. Along with Adam he sets up Simon and Mikey to layer and blend over the top and keeps it tight. I have found myself more and more lately paying attention to bass players and what they’re doing. Campbell makes it look effortless. What I’ve found in my recent bass focus is those that sound the best are the ones that don’t over dramatise what they’re doing and try and play too much. From Scott Reeder style bass riffs to more 70’s melodic and funky, I’m digging the Elk bass.

Mighty Elk is a band with a difference to most these days. They are all talented and rock but there are no stand outs. No wild guitarist masturbating his strings, no drummer trying to do more solo’s than the guitarist, no bass player who feels like he has something to prove and no front man out to do the same to show you that they deserve to be in your face. It’s a band of equals and you find that you watch all of them. All having their part to play. Dare I say they’re the band equivalent of the musketeers… all for rock and rock for all!

After the Pony set, everyone was hyped on the Mighty Elk. One gig down and it was exciting thinking if they are this good now imagine how awesome they’ll be six months down the track with a few more gigs under their belt! Strangers and friends alike were more than eagerly approaching the guys to tell them they were solid and it was a killer set.

So although I was spewin I wasn’t seeing Tool at the BDO and it was 400 degrees outside, I was happy to get down to see them again at The Tote on Sunday. I thought I would just see them and leave. Elk played to about 40 or more punters and all again dug them. It’s a strange feeling being at The Tote in daylight hours and drinking just coke but it was well worth the effort of dealing with the draining heat just to see them again.

Another definite highlight was hanging out a bit longer to see The Peep Tempel. I have read loads of great things about them and even been out in the beer garden previously whilst they’ve been on inside but didn’t pay any attention so technically have never seen or heard them. Usually a two piece but currently recording an album and playing as a three piece, holy fuck! Intense. On their Facebook page under genre they’ve written “Neon Garage Punk Step”. I’m not sure where to put them or really what that means but they were fuckin mind blowing! It’s a pity that there were only a handful of people in the room watching. Who know’s why, the heat, the BDO being on, few friends catching up out in the beer garden and in the front bar, regardless they gave it more than their all and have a newly converted here in me. Two 7’s under their belt and a new album under way, I would stay tuned for both Peep Tempel and Mighty Elk. What an awesome weekend of music.

I should add that I left after Peep Tempel so didn't see the rest of the bands rock The Tote.

Mighty Elk: Facebook / Myspace
The Peep Tempel: Facebook / Myspace


Burnt Chops said...

Awesome review man! Loved it!

Something Sweet To Throw Away said...

lml Rock !!!