Thursday, October 23, 2008

Elevator Drops - Lennon's Dead

(Curve of the Earth, 1994)

I’m not familiar with the
Elevator Drops beyond this single, but it seems that, like the early Flaming Lips, the group is trying, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, to needlessly walk a fine line between silly and sincere. The sleeve pimps a photo of John Lennon’s corpse, and the band inserts a clever/creepy “authentic” swatch of Lennon’s bedsheet, which, further perverting the idea of the hocked Beatlemania hotel linens it’s meant to evoke, is here presumably a piece of deathbed fabric. Which is quite funny, actually! So, given all that, it’s a bit of a surprise to find that the record is catchy, heartfelt, and exuberant, with a big, noisy pop sound reminiscent of Jesus Hits-era Tripping Daisy, both musically and vocally. The band goes for the occasional glammy posturing in its hooky guitarwork on “Lennon’s Dead” (which swipes the “Day in the Life” piano crash for its conclusion), but the more subtle “Elevator to Heaven,” alternating as it does between quiet, spacey verses and hard-hitting bits of amplifier-crunch, ends up the king of this little piece of musical plastic. All in all, good stuff that begs questions of larger-scale, major-label coulda-shoulda. I mean, why not? People, if copies of this are still hanging around the dollar bins of the few remaining record stores in the greater Boston area (as they definitely were ten years ago), then by all means, spend a buck and give a listen.

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