Live Review: Elephant Stone @ Black Cat, 8/11/13

How shall I put this? To say I was excited to see Montreal's Elephant Stone at the Black Cat would be one heck of a massive understatement. They'd managed to elude me, but thankfully the stars finally aligned, and I can now contentedly report that it was well worth the wait.

I was sold pretty much as soon as the band took the stage, strolling out to recorded sitar grooves and a visual display of undulating orange, purple, and green circles. But it wasn't just a dizzying swirl that got my attention. Over the course of their set, the band slanted and enchanted their way from heavy, hypnotic psych to their patented "Hindie rock," touching the dreamiest reaches of the psychedelic spectrum.

Nice and noisy, the band stormed through gorgeous guitar washes, kicky jangles, and Rishi Dhir's breathy, almost tender vocals. At times, Elephant Stone became indeterminable from bands fifty years their senior, so much can they bring the old school into their sound. Song after song, the band captivated with swirling, creeping tentacles of pretty psych gloss. The way they retain an air of lightness while pummeling softly with their noise is quite special indeed. 

New song "Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin" was a knockout, adding a touch of live rawness to the delirious psych pop. Their set seemed to fly by, and I was less than pleased when the instruments were set down and the band left the stage. Happily, however, the solid crowd and a Sunday night bonhomie led the band to return, and their last treat for us was a spooky whirligig of a cover of The Doors' "L.A. Woman." Classic. 

All told, I had a great time. Don't hesitate to see this band when you get the chance, my friends. 

[photo by Bowen Stead]  


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