[Album Review] Elephant Stone- The Three Poisons
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by Mark Anthony Brennan

three-poisons

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Release Date: August 26th, 2014
Label: Hidden Pony Records

I approached this review with a certain amount of trepidation. I enjoy psychedelic pop rock as much as the next guy (probably more, in fact) and Elephant Stone’s first two outings were great examples of the genre. But that market is getting pretty saturated and interest is starting to wane. Without even looking to other countries such as the US, UK and Australia, there have already been numerous psych pop albums in Canada this year (including superlative efforts by Shimmering Stars and Monomyth), so what else needs to be said, or should I say played? As it turns out, I shouldn’t have worried – Elephant Stone kick their own game up a notch and in doing so they raise the ante on all the other psychedelic rockers out there. ‘The Three Poisons’ is a flat-out killer groove-fest.

If you are already a fan of Elephant Stone then have no fear, all the elements you have come to love are still here – the swirling keys, the jangly guitar, the trippy sitar and Rishi Dhir’s Beatles-like vocals. What knocks this one out of the park though is the rhythm section of Dhir (bass), Steven Venkatarangam (second bass) and drummer Miles Dupire. On songs like “The Three Poisons”, “Echo and the Machine”, “Child of Nature” and “Knock You from Your Mountain” they lay down such deliciously throbbing grooves that you never want them to end. Fact is, they’ve infused some funk into that bottom end and to great effect.

That’s not to say that Elephant Stone come at you full-bore throughout the entire record. There are some quieter moments, such as the bluesy “Living for Someone” and the stunningly gorgeous “Wayward Son”, which is highlighted by the sweet chops of guitarist Gabriel Lambert.

Elephant Stone continue to draw inspiration from the Stone Roses, more so than ever in fact, but that’s not a bad thing at all. For starters, you can do a hell of lot worse than emulate the great Stone Roses. Besides, that’s just one of their influences – you can also hear strains of glitter rock, ’80’s synth pop, early ’70’s funk and, of course, a dash of Indian flavour – and they serve it all up in a way that is distinctly Elephant Stone.

I honestly don’t know when this current wave of psychedelia will die down, but Elephant Stone would have us believe that you can just keep on riding that crest forever.