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.