Elm Treason: Uncomplicated

My love of music is right up there with my love/obsession with my garden, the Georgia Bulldogs and NASCAR. Any true music fan must admit that these days, good music is damn hard to come by. ReverbNation, SoundCloud, Twitter, and a host of other social media sites, in addition to these have made it such that any two bit hack that can strum a guitar and place their hair gel accordingly can get a following and a fan base rival to some minor league baseball teams. Suffice it to say, that for me to hear something I like, it means I have heard at least a hundred things that made me want to eat horseshit as opposed to hearing it for a second time.
I was trolling around on Twitter one day, as opposed to doing what I was supposed to be doing at work, and clicked on a link to an “unplugged” version of a song I had never heard, by a band I had ever heard of. Before it loaded, I was thinking it would be yet another buzzkill in my dreadful day. I was wrong. Elm Treason unplugged was just what my day required. These guys are a breath of fresh air. Their website describes them as “complex, manic, foreboding, and smooth”. Respectfully, I disagree. This is Uncomplicated, refreshing, retro, vintage, rocking, groovy, straight-up rock-n-roll music. The guitars and melodies are phenomenal. The lyrics are nice and original. Originality is damn hard to find anymore. Everyone is dubbing, re-mixing, and sampling everyone else’s original work, and making a “hit” off of it. It disgusts me. I call it what it is; BAD COVER tunes.
Elm Treason’s debut album “Days of Reaction”, released May 30th, was like a shot in the arm for me. I was shocked at how well written and arranged this album was. The title track has some kick-ass blues guitar in it. I doubt they were going for that, but it’s what came out to me. Hell, I was so focused on the guitar sounds; I didn’t even hear the lyrics the first time I listened. The album’s third track, “With You”, is one of those that make you want to pop the top off a cold bottle of retro beer and cruise the coastline, or a dirt road, or even a mountain trail. Drinking and driving is bad, but track three isn’t. When “Mood”, the fifth track, came on and all I could picture was Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell on Alice in Chains’ Jar of Flies album. It’s an awesome acoustic song. Then the Grateful Dead stepped in for “Honey Feet”; not really but it could have happened. The album winds up with “Everything”, 7 minutes and 3 seconds of pure rock bliss, reminiscent of some of those long Zeppelin tunes from the 70’s.
Talk about versatile. Elm Treason is all over the place, in a good way. It’s like a mash-up of The Beatles, AIC, the Dead, the Marshall Tucker Band, and Rush rolled up in a package deal with The Black Keys. It’s crazy; crazy awesome. The bottom line is that Elm Treason just sounds like Elm Treason. It all depends on what song they are playing. All eleven of these songs are fresh. I haven’t heard songs like this in years, and it was nice to sit back and listen to something that was just easy and uncomplicated and stress-free. Music that is straight the point, minus the narcissistic bullshit that so many aspiring rock bands try to hit upon.

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About Gretchen Mashburn

I am a 1996 graduate of the University of Georgia with a useless B.A. in Sociology. I now live in the armpit of Florida, the capital city. I am a wizard of all things, especially financial management, and a fanatic sports fan. I love to listen to music, read books, and watch TV. I especially love to drink, so I quit.
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6 Responses to Elm Treason: Uncomplicated

  1. newdriven says:

    Great stuff! Love this: “The album’s third track, “With You”, is one of those that make you want to pop the top off a cold bottle of retro beer and cruise the coastline, or a dirt road, or even a mountain trail. Drinking and driving is bad, but track three isn’t”
    Love reading your posts and reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wanted to pop a top on that beer and hit the road. LOL

    Like

  3. Robert says:

    Wow Gretchen! That is quite an awesome review! We are honored that you enjoyed our album so much that you took the time to write this wonderful post. It’s a great feeling to know that people out there really enjoy our music. It was a lot of work but we had a lot of fun recording it. Our main goal was to sound distinctive and original. It’s so satisfying to hear we met that goal.
    Translating those songs for two acoustic guitars was quite a challenge but we are so happy with the result that we are considering recording these versions for an EP disc in the near future. We are thrilled that you’ve become a fan of the band! Thank you for your support!

    Sincerely
    Bobby Steel

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  4. J Patrick McCosar says:

    Gretchen, reading your spot on Elm Treason reminded me of how I was introduced to their music and the guys! It was, indeed, very similar. Sparing the full details, I was drawn into their Reverbnation site where I was sold on the guys by the very first few licks of “Days Reaction”, so much so that I had to hear more. As a guitar player myself, I knew these guys possessed the “X factor” that is missing from 95% of music. I reached out to them to ask about their recording techniques and discovered two very talented, genuine guys that are completely accessible to their fans, willing to share and chat. I’m very happy for these guys and their release (I bought two CDs) and It’s great to know that someone else out there shared that experience of finding a band like Elm Treason to give them that “sigh of relief” for music fans and musicians!
    Well written Gretchen!
    Respectfully,
    J Patrick McCosar

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    • Thank You! I say very often that I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, nor play a lick, but I am the mothereffer purchasing artists’ shit. And i am very picky about it too. I genuinely LOVED these guys. I am going to order an actual CD, because I want to see the artwork on the cover. LOL. I am also a bit of a nerd in that I will read the damned CD cover and liner. I LOVE the creativity that goes into the covers. The whole process and the business of music in intriguing to me. A hobby of sorts. Thanks Again!

      G

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