One of the better missing link neo-'80s bands, Elefant explores the sounds of that decade without being overly derivative, unlike some of the other members of the retro-styled class of 2003. Its debut, Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid, recorded in 2002 and released in '03, is still going strong, and the band soon embarks on a solo tour that features a stop at the Coachella music festival in May.
Elefant's sound is clean and up-tempo, featuring prominent bass reminiscent of Peter Hook. While the music flashes on New Order, it also sound-checks Blur and The Smiths. Vocalist Diego Garcia, of model good looks and the ever-fashionable ironic mullet, often sounds like Morrissey if he were happy, even producing a couple of warbling near-yodels in homage to the Mozzer.
While evocative of '80s music, the edginess and risk-taking that were part of that decade (and definitive of the bands Elefant most emulates) is largely missing from this album. Kind of like all the alterna-kids in school who wear purple hair and metal in their eyebrows but never once got stuffed into a garbage can for it, Elefant could be accused of taking the genre for granted without having to pay the dues.
Old Brickhouse Grill, 1 East Jackson
Scheduled to open for Calexico on Sunday, March 14. Doors open at 8 p.m. All-ages tickets are $13, available from Zia Records, Stinkweeds, Hoodlums and www.ticketweb.com . For details call 602-258-7888.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.